McCONNELLSBURG, Pa. - Officials from five agencies sponsored three drought meetings in Fulton County Friday to provide advice and information to residents.
Only a handful of people showed up.
The meetings in Hustontown, McConnellsburg and Needmore brought together the Fulton County Conservation District, the county Emergency Management Agency, Penn State Extension Office and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Much of the information was aimed at farmers, including sources of aid, drought-coping strategies and livestock feeding alternatives.
John Johnston, the county's Farm Service Agency director, said there are about 490 farms in the county.
"We did estimates in July on a crop-by-crop basis and projected then 30 to 50 percent loses," Johnston said. He said those estimates were probably low since there was no significant rainfall until the end of August.
Farmers are eligible for federal emergency loans, but some may also qualify for the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, which covers hay, pumpkins, cucumbers and other specialty crops for which insurance is not available.