U.S. Custom Harvesters, Inc. is lobbying for a bipartisan bill that reduces the regulatory burden on modern-day agriculture.
This bill would eliminate an outdated regulation that requires custom harvesters, farmers and agribusinesses to obtain a hazardous material endorsement before transporting more than 118 gallons of diesel fuel.
The Senate bill, S. 485, has been introduced by Senators Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, a North Dakota Democrat.
In the House, Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minnesota) are sponsoring the companion bill, HR. 1026.
The legislation would exempt agriculture industry professionals from the requirement to obtain a hazardous material endorsement, while operating a service vehicle carrying diesel fuel in quantities of 1,000 gallons or less, if the tank containing the diesel fuel is clearly marked.
1,000 gallon threshold necessary for modern agriculture
"This bill will benefit not only custom harvesters, but also farmers and agribusinesses," said Kent Braathen, president, USCHI. Braathen, who is based in Grand Forks, N.D., said the 1,000 gallon threshold is needed to meet the needs of modern day agriculture. "A 350 gallon fuel tank is common with a lot of the combines coming out today. Most custom harvesters have multiple combines and it is important to get something done to ease the pressure on us in getting fuel to our equipment."
USCHI is asking harvesters, farmers and those in ag-related businesses to call, e-mail or write their Senators and Representatives.
"To change this rule, lawmakers need to hear from custom harvesters and others representing agriculture," said Braathen.
In addition to USCHI, this bill is supported by the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Agricultural & Food Transporters Conference, the American Soybean Association, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, the National Association of Wheat Growers, the National Barley Growers Association, the National Corn Growers Association, the National Sorghum Producers, the National Sunflower Association, the US Canola Association, and the US Dry Pea & Lentil Council.