Governor Fallin Allowing Wider Hay Trailers on Oklahoma RoadsMon, 25 Jul 2011 05:27:57 CDT
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin today signed an executive order allowing haulers of hay to carry larger loads in their trucks. The order comes in light of the ongoing drought, which has left some farmers without access to hay for livestock. The Radio Oklahoma Network's Keith Merkx talked with Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese about the decision- you can hear that conversation by clicking on the LISTEN BAR at the bottom of the story.
Current rules restrict haulers of hay to dimensions of 11 feet in width. Governor Fallin's executive order increases those limits to 12 feet. Because a standard hay bale is six feet in width, this change doubles the amount of hay bales capable of being hauled per truck without a permit.
Additionally, for those vehicles transporting hay to livestock, the executive order temporarily suspends the requirement for an oversized vehicle permit within these limits.
"The historical drought we are now facing is having a serious impact on our entire state, and farmers are among the hardest hit," Fallin said. "Many farmers are experiencing shortages of hay, leaving their livestock severely underfed. To try and alleviate that problem and expedite access to food, I have decided to loosen the restrictions on trucks hauling hay, so we can get as much food to market as quickly as possible."
American Farmers & Ranchers applauds Gov. Mary Fallin for signing the executive order temporarily suspending certain requirements for transporting hay. An AFR member requested the relief earlier this week after having struggled to work through the system of permits and regulations to haul large loads across the state.
"AFR greatly appreciates the understanding of Governor Fallin in this absolute necessity to surviving a tough drought year," AFR President Terry Detrick, a farmer and rancher from Ames, said. "We are having to haul more hay farther distances every day as a result of this historic drought."
AFR staff worked with the Oklahoma Departments of Public Safety, Transportation, Agriculture, Food & Forestry and several state legislators to assist the governor's office in crafting this relief.
"This is a terrific example of Oklahomans efficiently working together to form a common sense solution," Detrick said. "AFR thanks the many state officials who took part in this timely effort."
Also praising the Governor was the Oklahoma Farm Bureau. "This will make it possible for livestock producers to get hay to hungry livestock quicker," said Mike Spradling, president of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau. Spadling, a Tulsa County rancher, adds "We applaud the governor for recognizing this need and for showing compassion during a stressful time for livestock producers."
Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese said the governor's decision is an important one for the agricultural community.
"The drought has been tough on everyone, but for many farmers it's been financially very difficult." Reese said. "I applaud the governor for doing everything in her power to lessen the impact of this ongoing crisis."
Fallin said she encourages drivers to be patient and careful when on the road with these trucks.
"There are going to be some big trucks on the road and they need to travel at safe speeds, which are slower than most commercial vehicles," Fallin said. "I'm urging all our drivers to be safe and to be patient, and to remember that these trucks are out there for a reason and performing an important service to the state."
The executive order lasts 60 days.
WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI
Top Agricultural News