ShareTransportation Secretary Ray LaHood released a statement saying no further regulations would …">
(Posted Thu. Aug 11th, 2011)
Aug. 11: One week after NCGA President Bart Schott sent a letter to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration outlining concerns on the proposed guidance for operators of farm vehicles and off-road agricultural equipment, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood released a statement saying no further regulations would be placed on the transport of agricultural products. Secretary LaHood also mentioned that more than 1,700 comments from agricultural organizations and members of Congress were received, with the majority requesting that states maintain their ability to preserve existing agricultural exemptions.
“We have no intention of instituting onerous regulations on the hardworking farmers who feed our country and fuel our economy,” Secretary LaHood said in a statement. “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.”
Schott’s outlined areas of concern in his letter including the transportation of goods from the farm to the local elevator being defined as “interstate commerce” and a fear that the guidance would discriminate against growers who enter into share-crop agreements as an alternative to cash-rent. Schott also noted in his letter that NCGA would oppose any efforts to classify farming equipment, such as tractors, combines and plows, as commercial motor vehicles.
“We are pleased to see that Secretary LaHood understands the complexity of agricultural transportation and acknowledges the burdens the proposed regulations would have imposed on farmers across the country,” NCGA President Bart Schott said. “Our organization remains committed to highway safety, and we appreciate the Secretary’s timely decision and practical approach to these important issues.”