Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar announced that her bipartisan provision co-sponsored by Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, to fully restore the Agriculture Hours-of-Service exemption across the full food and farm supply chain passed the Senate as part of a larger Surface Transportation bill. Restoring the exemption would make it easier for farmers to transport goods and get products to the market during critical planting and harvesting seasons. Klobuchar serves on the Senate Agriculture Committee and Senate Commerce Committee.
“During the planting and harvesting seasons, farmers need to be able to get fertilizer and other supplies to their farms quickly and efficiently, otherwise their crops and businesses may suffer,” Klobuchar said.“This initiative will help ensure that unnecessary red tape doesn’t get in the way of our farmers having the resources and tools they need to successfully run their farms and provide the food and fuel our country needs.”
Currently, drivers transporting agricultural supplies during the planting and harvesting periods are only exempt from Hours-Of-Service (HOS) rules – which limit when and how long truck drivers may drive – when they are transporting just one farm supply from just the retailer to the farms, and the exemption does not include any other good or supply transported from the farm to retailer or source to the retailer – a critical segment of the farm and food supply chain. Klobuchar’s provision would fully restore the HOS exemption to agriculture goods transported from source to retailer to farm, allowing for an uninterrupted supply chain that will help ensure farmers get the supplies they need in a timely and efficient manner.
The bill is supported by nearly 50 national and state agricultural organizations including the Minnesota Grain and Feed Association, the National Farmers Union, the National Farm Bureau, the Cooperative Network, and the American Soybean Association.