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TxDot’s hay waiver expires August 4
AUSTIN -- Texas ranchers desperate for hay to feed their livestock during this drought are receiving some relief, according to a July 13 Texas Department of Agriculture press release. As Texas ranchers struggle to feed their herds in the wake of some of the worst drought and wildfire conditions in state history, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples sent a request to Gov. Rick Perry to direct the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to waive certain restrictions and permitting requirements to expedite the transport of hay. The waiver expires at midnight, Thursday, Aug. 4, with the possibility of a forthcoming extension if he renews the state’s disaster proclamation on the day of the deadline.
“I commend Governor Perry for taking swift action on behalf of Texas ranchers who are in desperate need of hay to feed their herds,” Staples said. “Texas leads the nation in cattle production, but due to a critical lack of forage, our ranchers are selling off their herds at unsustainable rates that will have long-term effects on our economy and our consumers. We must employ every resource available to avoid further herd reduction.”
The TxDOT waiver, which has been enacted numerous times in the past, temporarily suspends permitting requirements, legal height restrictions on round hay bales, and associated permit fees for hay carriers. Public safety remains a priority and therefore dictates that all other legal requirements, including licensing, registration, insurance, and safety precautions continue to be in place and monitored closely for compliance. The waiver also considers alternate routing wherever possible.
For more information regarding TxDOT’s temporarily revised hay-transport criteria and expedited routing, call the agency’s Motor Carrier Division at 512-465-3592.
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