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Agricultural Initiatives

Agricultural Emergency Assistance Program (Ag. EAP)

The lack of normal rainfall during the 1990's created tremendous economic hardship on County farmers.  The droughts of 1997 and 1999 will be recorded as some of the worst during the 21st Century.  In an attempt to provide financial assistance to farmers, Montgomery County created the first County funded Drought Assistance Program in the nation.

In 1997, the County approved $500,000 which was distributed to 67 farmers covering over 26,254 acres. In 1999, $1.0 million was approved and these funds were distributed to 94 farmers covering over 36,590 acres. 

2007 brought another drought, and losses projected to exceed $13 million. The County approved $1.5 milion for distribution to impacted farmers. Producers who had both a current Nutrient Management Plan (if required) and a Soil Conservation Plan or District Cooperators Agreement on record were eligible for assistance based on the crop produced and acreage farmed. 

For the 2007 program, $1.446 million dollars was distributed to 85 producers, covering 30,418 acres impacted by the drought. 

Crop Acres Funds Distributed % of Funds % of Acres Ag EAP Payment
Per Acre
Sweet Corn/Fruit/Veg. 456.29 $127,761.20 8.84% 1.84% $280
Sod 465.14 $130,239.20 9.01% 1.87% $280
Other* 3 $840.00 0.06% 0.01% $280
Corn for Grain/Silage 8,897.13 $554,030.35 38.32% 35.81% $55-65
Soybeans FS/DC 8,931.78 $426,505.13 29.50% 35.95% $34-55
Pasture 2,377.68 $95,107.18 6.58% 9.57% $40
Hay 3,713.06 $111,402.02 7.70% 14.95% $30
Total for crops** 24,844.08 $1,445,885.08 100.00 % 100.00%  
*Other includes tobacco and Christmas trees
**An additional 2,855.23 acres met criteria but were not covered due to payment cap.
An additional 2,718 acres had yields reduced by less than 20% and were not covered.
Total eligible acres: 27,699.31
Eligible plus ineligible acres: 30,418.01

The AgEAP program was administered by DED agricultural services (now the Office of Agriculture) and serves as an example of Montgomery County's commitment to preserve both farmland and the business of farming.  Many farmers would not be in business today if the County Government had not created this critical program to help farmers in their time of need.

The Office of Agriculture · 18410 Muncaster Road · Derwood, Md 20855
Phone: 301-590-2823 · Fax: 301-590-2839

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