The Transportation Department’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced today that it has no intention of proposing new regulations governing the transport of agricultural products.
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 to market.
After hearing from concerned farmers earlier this year, FMCSA initiated this review to make sure states don’t go overboard in enforcing regulations on agricultural operators, and to ensure consistent access to exemptions for farmers. 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.
This guidance-which does not impose any new rules on farmers-follows the Federal Register public notice which FMCSA issued on May 31, asking farmers, farm organizations and the public to give input on the agency’s longstanding safety rules.
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. 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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