FRANKFORT (March 21, 2018) — Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles praised the enactment of a bill that provides greater flexibility for Kentucky farmers and other haulers transporting livestock and other agricultural commodities across the state.

“It is important that our agricultural and livestock haulers have flexibility when transporting agricultural commodities,” said Commissioner Quarles. “I thank the General Assembly and Representative James Tipton for working to achieve a solution that allows Kentuckians to take full advantage of the federal exemption for our agricultural industries.”

Federal law exempts vehicles carrying agricultural commodities for a distance less than 150 air-miles from any obligation to comply with hours-of-service limits or ELD (electronic logging device) installation requirements during a state’s planting and harvest season. The maximum exemption allowed by federal law is greater than Kentucky law’s 100 air-mile radius, leaving Kentucky’s haulers at a disadvantage. House Bill 133 aligns Kentucky’s maximum exemption with the federal standard and automatically adopts any future increases in the federal agricultural exemption into Kentucky law.

“When I learned that our state’s public policy was not allowing our people and our businesses to take full advantage of an already existing federal exemption, I thought it was important to make our state law consistent with federal statutes,” said Representative James Tipton. “I was honored to work alongside Commissioner Quarles to lead the effort and deliver meaningful relief for our farmers and livestock haulers across Kentucky.”

On December 15, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) delayed implementation of regulations requiring agricultural haulers to purchase and install ELDs on trucks. The DOT extended the implementation delay again on March 14, 2018.