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New law simplifies ag vehicle use
May 27, 2016 Jerry Purvis   

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A recently enacted state law makes it easier for Nebraska farmers and ranchers to move vehicles around their operations while not having to deal with added paperwork.

The new law allows ag producers to move certain farm equipment around their farms and ranches without obtaining a commercial driver’s license. Nebraska joins Georgia, Iowa, Kansas and North Dakota in offering the exemption.

Speaking in Grand Island on May 20, Gov. Pete Ricketts said one of his priorities is to make the state more business friendly.
“Creating this covered farm vehicle designation here in Nebraska makes sense,” he said. “It cuts red tape for agriculture, our number one industry. This designation will remove unnecessary barriers to our farm families, who grow the food Nebraska exports to feed the world.”

Covered farm vehicles will be issued a special license plate which helps law enforcement identify them as exempt. The vehicle must also meet certain weight requirements. Examples of exempt vehicles include trucks, hay grinders, manure spreaders and others used in farm operations.

Jerald Meisner, who farms in Gering Valley said that while the impact on his operation isn’t large, it is important. “This will help us find help during harvest time,” he said. “I will be easier to hire truck drivers to bring in the crop.”

John Schroeder of Cozad, Chairman of the Nebraska Cattlemen Marketing and Commerce Committee, said the law is a big win for Nebraska agriculture. “The intent is to give states the option to specially designate covered farm vehicles,” he said. “This change gives the needed certainty and clarity for agricultural producers statewide.”

The covered farm vehicle designation has been in the works for the past year with input from the governor’s office, the Nebraska State Patrol, Department of Motor Vehicles and Nebraska Cattlemen.

The Nebraska.gov website has more information on the program, along with information on how to file for the designation.
Questions may also be directed to the Carrier Enforcement Division of the Nebraska State Patrol at 402-471-0105.
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