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Montana Ag Network: May 2nd Report – New ELD/HOS legislation for livestock haulers

Posted at 4:48 PM, May 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-02 18:48:54-04

The U.S. livestock industry is welcoming the introduction of legislation in the U.S. Senate aimed at reforming federal Hours of Service (HOS) rules in a way that ensures animal welfare, highway safety, and the well-being of livestock haulers.

Among other things, Senate Bill 1255, the Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act, would make HOS and ELD (Electronic Logging Device) requirements inapplicable until after a driver travels more than 300 air miles from their source. It would allow drivers to complete their trip regardless of HOS requirements if they come within 150 air miles of their delivery point.

On Thursday morning, Congress doubled down on the issue with companion legislation introduced in the House.

This week, the Wheat Quality Council is conducting its annual Hard Red Winter Wheat Tour in Kansas. Kansas Wheat CEO Justin Gilpin said moisture has been a game changer for the quality and yield potential of this year’s winter wheat crop there.

“We’re definitely seeing better conditions with this year’s winter wheat crop versus last year’s crop,” said Gilpin. “The numbers that came in on day number one had an average of 46.9 bushels per acre or about 13 bushels per acre better than last year.”

But even with that said, tour participants including several international buyers remain cautiously optimistic given all the trade uncertainties and their impacts to the U.S. wheat industry.

In a letter to Angus breeders dated May 1st, the board of directors of the American Angus Association announced that chief executive officer Allen Moczygemba will resign effective May 15th.

Angus board said they know while the decision “understandably may create some uncertainty among their membership, please be assured that the Board values all of their members and the contributions each person makes every day.”

Until the position is filled, current Chief Operating Officer Chris Stallo will serve as interim CEO and oversee the operations of the Association and its entities.

A majority of farmers and farmworkers say financial issues, farm or business problems and fear of losing the farm impact farmers’ mental health.

Other factors included stress, weather, the economy, isolation and social stigma, according to a new national poll commissioned by the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Polling found that many rural adults have either personally sought care or have a family member who has sought care for a mental health condition.

Large majorities of rural Americans polled agreed that cost, social stigma and embarrassment would make it harder for them to seek help or treatment for mental health conditions.

Optimism is growing that the U.S. and China could wrap up a trade agreement this month. Trade officials from the U.S. and China concluded talks in Beijing Wednesday with another critical round scheduled for next week in the United States.

The Trump administration has appeared to be ready to walk away if an agreement isn’t reached soon. A deal at this point between the U.S. and China is expected in Mid-May, with a possible signing of the agreement planned for June. However, an agreement doesn’t mean an end to tariffs from both sides at least as of now.

-Reported by Russell Nemetz/MTN News