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Ag Commodity Definition and Covered Farm Vehicle Exemptions
In 2019, sod producers taking their product to market were about to lose their status as Covered Farm Vehicles (49 CFR 390.5)—and the important exemptions that come with that status. TPI stepped in. After TPI filed an exemption request with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and met with them in person in Washington, DC, the DOT announced in 2020 that sod would be included in their new definition of agricultural commodities (49 CFR 395.2). Without TPI’s efforts, sod producers in the U.S. would have lost important Hours of Service (HOS) exemptions and would have been required to install Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) in all sod delivery trucks.
Covid-19 Relief Funds
In 2020, when Covid-19 upended the world and global markets, sod producers were not initially included in USDA Covid-19 relief programs—or the billions of dollars of federal aid associated with them. After seven months of diligent work with USDA, TPI ensured that sod producers gained eligibility for $210 million of relief funds to offset market losses during the national response to the pandemic.
Protecting Key Products in Sod Production
TPI is at the forefront or protecting important products for use in sod production. In the last five years alone, we have worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on registration reviews for almost a dozen herbicides, insecticides, or fungicides to make sure that sod producers retain these key farm tools. There are over 70 plant protectants under review as part of EPA’s strategic plan, and TPI will work with them every step of the way to provide much-needed information for re-registrations vitally important to sod producers.