Chairman Frank Lucas issued the following statement after the four principals met today to discuss outstanding issues relating to the farm bill.
The Ag Minute: Bipartisan Bill Would Help Farmers Out in the Field
Tamara Hinton, 202.225.0184
WASHINGTON – This week during The Ag Minute, guest host Rep. Randy Neugebauer discusses H.R. 1026, a bipartisan bill he recently introduced to ease fuel transport restrictions on farmers. Currently, Class A commercial drivers are restricted in the amount of fuel they can transport unless they have a hazardous materials endorsement, which is costly and time-consuming to obtain. However, Class B commercial drivers are exempt from these requirements. H.R. 1026 broadens the exemption to include Class A drivers.
Click here to listen to The Ag Minute. The transcript is below.
"When it comes time to plant or harvest a crop, farmers prepare for long days in the field, from dawn 'til dusk. That's because every minute matters. Combines, pickers, and harvesters make the job easier, but like any piece of machinery, they have to be fueled up.
"Today, a single harvesting machine today can hold up to 300 gallons of fuel. But federal regulations prevent some farmers from hauling more than 119 gallons of fuel at once. That means that a farmer would have to take three trips to the fuel station just to fill up a single piece of equipment.
"That wastes time and money that our farmers can't afford.
"So, I introduced common-sense legislation that exempts agricultural producers from these restrictions, and allows them to haul up to 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel.
"H.R. 1026 has bipartisan support in the House and Senate because it's a safe, responsible solution that reduces federal burdens on the people who feed and clothe America.
"I look forward to passing this bill as soon as possible, so farmers can spend less time at the gas station and more time in the field."
The Ag Minute is Chairman Lucas's weekly radio address that is released from the House Agriculture Committee.