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County livestock producers are eligible for federal aid because of the drought, officials announced last week.

The Emergency Feed Program was approved for county farmers, said Elizabeth A. Schaeffer, director of the county Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service.

A public meeting to explain the program is 7:30 p.m. Thursday at

the county Cooperative Extension Service office at the AgricultureCenter.

Officials also will discuss other aid programs available to county farmers.

The feed program provides federal aid to livestock producers who have suffered losses of at least 40 percent on their feed crops as a result of the drought. Benefits are provided for upto 50 percent of the cost of purchasing additional feed.

Livestock producers have been hard hit this summer because of abnormally hightemperatures and lack of rain, Schaeffer said. Little pasture has been available for animals that graze, and yields have been reduced on feed crops, she said.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture declared 18 Maryland counties, including Carroll, disaster areas, thus making them available for low-interest loans and other aid.

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