FMSCA extends Hours of Service waiver for livestock haulers again
According to AgWeb, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has extended a 50-state emergency declaration offering regularity relief for drivers who are hauling certain supplies during the COVID-19 crisis through Feb. 28, 2022.
The Hours of Service (HOS) rule limits truckers to 11 hours of driving time and 14 consecutive hours of on-duty time in any 24-hour period, and requires prescribed rest periods.
Prompted to ensure producers could continue transporting live cattle and hogs at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the FMCSA included livestock haulers in an initial emergency declaration that provided an exemption from the HOS regulation for commercial truckers hauling essential supplies – including livestock – and was subsequently expanded to cover the delivery of livestock feed.
The FMCSA extended the waiver in August to Nov. 30. In that extension, the agency also requested that livestock haulers who use the waiver report that within five days of the end of each month on their FMCSA portal.
A provision in the infrastructure bill recently signed into law expanded the miles agricultural truckers can drive without the HOS restrictions. Divers hauling livestock already were exempt from the HOS rule for the first 150 air miles of their runs. Now they also will be exempt from HOS rules for the final 150 air miles from their destination, providing additional flexibility to ensure drivers can safely complete their deliveries while protecting other drivers and ensuring the welfare of the animals in their care.”
The FMCSA also reiterated that the HOS waiver does not give motor carriers the right to compel fatigued drivers to operate, and any driver who informs a motor carrier that they need rest is to be given 10 hours before they are required to return to duty.
ESI Group partners with Cattlemen’s Heritage to design, build new beef processing facility
According to Beef Magazine, the ESI Group has been selected to design and construct a greenfield beef-processing facility in southwest Iowa.
The 500,000-sq. ft. Cattlemen’s Heritage Beef Co. harvesting plant, located in northern Mills County, will harvest 1,500 head per day and employ up to 750 people, with groundbreaking scheduled for spring 2022.
Chad Tentinger, lead developer for the newly found corporation headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, said they were “drawn to the ESI Group because of its status as an industry leader with more than three decades of specialized experience in the design and construction of food distribution, processing, and automated facilities.”
Tentinger hopes to provide a market for cattle raised by smaller, independent cattle producers, and plans to open the plant in late 2023.
Packing plant plan advances to North Platte City Council
According to the North Platte Telegraph, with no debate and a unanimous Community Redevelopment Authority vote, Sustainable Beef LLC’s plan to build a meatpacking plant atop a retired city sewer lagoon has advanced to final City Council action next week.
The five-member CRA voted 5-0 Monday for a resolution calling on the city to sell the 80-acre site for $142,500 and grant $21.5 million in tax increment financing for site preparation and infrastructure costs.
City Council members, who granted $1 million in forgivable planning loans from city economic development funds in August, will hold a public hearing and final vote at the 5:30 p.m. council meeting Dec. 7.
A positive council vote would set up a final CRA meeting in early January to finalize a development contract with Sustainable Beef, but the deal’s terms, stipulate that lagoon wouldn’t change hands before project organizers complete their $325 million financing package.
CRA Chairman Mike Jacobson confirmed that if that’s done by the January CRA meeting and Sustainable Beef presents a signed construction contract, “they’d be in a position to have a land transfer and could begin work at that time.”
Sustainable Beef CEO David Briggs said organizers, including several western Nebraska cattle growers, now have 23 signed contracts from a 200-mile radius to meet the plant’s 1,500-head-per-day capacity.