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Montana's Gianforte suspends regs for fertilizer delivery

USDA ARS WFP-ARS-fertilizer.jpg
Fertilizer is applied in a field.
Hours-of-service waiver aims to accommodate growers' compressed spring planting schedule.

Montana's Gov. Greg Gianforte has issued an executive order temporarily suspending hours-of-service regulations for certain carriers to quicken fertilizer deliveries to growers.

The move aims to accommodate a compressed planting schedule that growers face because of late snowfalls and wet conditions which increase the demand for anhydrous ammonia and other fertilizers, explains the state Department of Agriculture.

Waiving hours-of-service requirements enable haulers to meet orders on a shorter timeframe, state officials said.

“We need to do everything we can so Montana farmers can get in the field to plant and produce their crops when they need to,” said Gianforte, a Republican. “Limiting access to necessary inputs threatens their effective, timely planting. Today’s executive action halts regulations so our farmers can receive needed fertilizer without unnecessary delay."

The order pertains only to carriers actively involved in transporting anhydrous ammonia aand other fertilizers and requires haulers to operate safely and prudently, officials caution.

“Every day counts for Montana’s farmers, and farm inputs like fertilizer are crucial to the success of their operations,” said Mike Foster, Director of Montana Department of Agriculture. “The Governor’s decision to waive hours of service regulations this spring guarantees that our producers have what they need to get out in the field and plant as soon as the conditions are right for them to do so.”

The order is in effect through June 6.

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