The USDA declared Maryland a drought disaster area last week.
Officials said the designation will help provide assistance and financial relief to Maryland farmers affected by the severe dry weather and excessive heat from June 1 through the summer months.
"It just makes more money available for farmers that can't get a loan from a conventional source, which actually in a disaster situation, that's going to hurt them so more people might really be eligible," said Colleen Cashell, executive director of USDA's Farm Service Agency in Washington County.
For more about receiving assistance and financial relief from the drought, contact Cashell's office at 1260 Maryland Ave., Suite 107, in Hagerstown. The phone number is 301-797-0500, ext. 2.