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August 11, 2011   Email to Friend 

August 11, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Transportation Department's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced Wednesday that it has no intention of proposing new regulations governing the transport of agricultural products.

"These issues of ag transportation, safety and exemption are of major concern to our farmers," said Buddy Adamson, the Alabama Farmers Federation's director of cotton, wheat and feed grains, and bee and honey divisions. "We have been monitoring this situation and are pleased that the FMCSA has ruled favorably." The agency also released guidance designed to make sure state officials clearly understand exemptions that allow farmers, their employees and their families to accomplish day-to-day work and transport their products.

"We have no intention of instituting onerous regulations on the hardworking farmers who feed our country and fuel our economy," said FMCSA Secretary Ray LaHood in a press release Wednesday. "Farmers deserve to know that reasonable, common sense exemptions will continue to be consistently available to agricultural operations across the country, and that's why we released this guidance." No regulations will be proposed for any new safety requirements or changes to the rules governing the transport of agricultural products, farm machinery or farm supplies to or from a farm.

May 31, FMCSA asked farmers, farm organizations and the public to give input on the agency's safety rules.

The Alabama Farmers Federation, along with the American Farm Bureau Federation, submitted comments to FMCSA, noting that the guidance on agriculture and interstate commerce was based on inaccurate assumptions about agriculture.

The Alabama Farmers Federation and AFBF urged the agency to rescind its current guidance and replace it with one that accurately reflected the agricultural market chain. This includes treating farmers engaged in crop-share lease agreements the same as those transporting only their own crops.

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