The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) and The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) applaud the U.S. Congress for approving the "Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users" (H.R. 3), which will reauthorize surface transportation programs through 2009. The legislation contains a hard-fought-for measure to make permanent the agricultural hours of service exemption and clarifies the definition of "agricultural commodities." The legislation was approved July 29 in the House by a vote of 412 to 8 and in the Senate by a vote of 91 to 4.
"On behalf of the ARA Board of Directors, I applaud the U.S. Congress for the passage of this important piece of ag legislation," said Jack Eberspacher, ARA president and CEO. "The hours of service exemption has been ARA's number one priority and will ensure that retailers will continue to be able to deliver products and services to our customers during the busy planting and harvesting seasons."
"TFI spearheaded efforts to secure the current hours of service exemption in 1995 and has worked with its allies during the past 22 months to make it permanent," said TFI President Kraig R. Naasz. "Passage of the highway bill means that retail dealers will continue with certainty to meet the needs of their farmer-customers through on-time deliver of essential fertilizer products during peak times of the year."
The hours of service exemption is critical during the busy planting and harvesting seasons, and is determined on a state-by-state basis. The exemption is only valid within a 100 air-mile radius from the source of commodities or distribution point of the farm supplies within each state.
Dealer & Applicator magazine