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GOV. WILLIAM DONALD SCHAEFER ASKS FOR DISASTER RELIEF FOR MARYLAND FARMERS

 ANNAPOLIS, Md., July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Gov. William Donald Schaefer today asked President Clinton and Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy for disaster relief for Maryland farmers.
 "The excessive heat and prolonged dry spell in many of our key agricultural regions have already cost Maryland farmers millions of dollars in losses. These losses are mounting each day," Schaefer said.
 "I have visited farms in both Cecil and Wicomico counties and have seen the stress the heat and lack of rain have caused. Therefore, I have requested that the administration include Maryland farmers in all existing federal agricultural disaster programs and make them eligible for any additional aid that may be approved by Congress," said Schaefer.
 The governor made the request to President Clinton in a letter he signed last night upon his return from a trade mission to Mexico.
 Preliminary surveys by the Maryland State Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service office (ASCS) show corn for grain losses ranging from 30 to 90 percent, silage corn losses at 30 percent, and soybean crop losses at 10 to 50 percent. In addition, thousands of acres of short season soybeans were not planted due to hot and dry conditions.
 Other sectors of Maryland agriculture already hard hit include watermelon and cantaloupe crops with losses estimated to exceed 35 percent. Dairymen report production off by as much as 25 percent for the last 30 days.
 During the next couple of weeks the Maryland ASCS office will be doing in-depth damage assessment reports for U.S. Department of Agriculture officials.
 -0- 7/21/93
 /CONTACT: Harold Kanarek of the Maryland Department of Agriculture, 410-841-5882, or Joe Harrison of Gov. William Donald Schaefer's Press Office, 410-974-2316/


CO: Maryland Department of Agriculture; Gov. William Donald Schaefer's
 Office ST: Maryland IN: AGR SU:


IH-TW -- DC010 -- 3855 07/21/93 10:30 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 21, 1993
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