Farm Bureau and other ag groups voice their support for the HAULS Act

Producers could receive much needed flexibility for hauling agricultural commodities and livestock.

Legislation introduced by Senator Deb Fischer of Nebraska would provide flexibility in hauling livestock and perishable commodities. Andrew Walmsley, American Farm Bureau Federation’s congressional relations director, says that the HAULS Act would extend hours-of-service exemptions in agriculture to year round.

According to Walmsley, “The HAULS Act is an important piece of legislation introduced by Senator Fischer of Nebraska. She’s been working with a group of ag commodity organizations and other ag haulers to listen to the needs of the industry, and so she’s developed this bill that would provide three things to modernize trucking regulations and make a benefit for the safety and efficiency of hauling ag products.”

Farm Bureau and other ag groups support the legislation. Walmsley says that the changes include removing seasonality restrictions.

“Most states have gotten rid of seasonality of planting and harvesting seasons. When you are moving livestock, that’s a year-round enterprise, and so, it’s Congress recognizing the growing season is really year-round for a lot of ag commodities,” he said. “The second piece would provide a 150 air mile exemption on the destination of hauls, and the finally, the legislation would update the definition of an ag commodity.”

Walmsley says that the legislation promotes safety for driver and animals.

“One of the unique situations that we find ourselves in agriculture is that we are sometimes dealing with live animals or perishable commodities. The animal piece is really key in where we need to make sure that we are using common sense and have the needed flexibility to ensure safety,” he adds. “That’s what the HAULS Act looks to do, is to make sure the perishable commodities like livestock can get to their destination safely, that driver can get to their destination safely, and then that driver rests.”

AFBF president Zippy Duvall states, “The HAULS Act modernizes trucking regulations to meet the needs of our members. I applaud Senator Fischer for her leadership on this important issue.”

NCBA addresses the HAULS Act and how it benefits livestock haulers.