MO-AG Minute | April 1, 2020
IMPORTANT NEWS
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BOARD OF DIRECTORS
 
Chairman
Chad Mallett 
Sydenstrickers   
  
Vice Chairman   
Kieth Boyd
Adams Fertilizer Mfg .
De Witt, AR

   Immediate Past Chairman
Hank Thomas 
Van Diest Supply

  Board Members
Michael Hernandez
Syngenta 
   
Stefan Knudsen 
MFA Inc.
Columbia 
 
Lee Blank
Advance Trading  
  
Tyler Breshears
  Agriservices of Brunswick  
Brunswick
 
Todd Barlow
Syngenta 

Chris DeMoss
MFA Inc.
Columbia

 Chris Riley 
ADM

Randy Rodgers
Service and Supply Coop.
New Florence

Ben Breazeale
Cargill
Kansas City

Graham Utter
Growmark 
  
  MO-AG STAFF
Executive Director
Steve Taylor
 
Deputy Director
Tony Benz
 
Program Manager
Mark Murphy
 
Communications & 
Public Relations 
Sarah Mengwasser 
 
Administrative Assistant
Jeff Leonard
 
Legal Counsel
Robert Brundage



COVID-19 CASES
Click here for Missouri COVID-19 cases
by county
Availability of Farm Inputs for Planting Season
Planting season is upon us! With much conversation from the federal and state level regarding availability of fertilizer and other mat erial, we are not seeing any delays due to the COVID-19 crisis . With additional provisions provided on the trucking side which expires April 30, the rest of the supply chain is operating as normal. We are dedicated to tracking all changes for you. If you have any questions pertaining to supply chain, email us here.
NGFA, Ag Groups, Request Expansion of Hours-of-Service Exemption for All Agricultural Haulers During COVID-19 Pandemic
(The following are excerpts of the press release from the National Grain & Feed Association, March 25, 2020 to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, (FMCSA)

In a letter to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and 53 other agricultural groups urged that the agency grant relief from federal drive time rules for all truck drivers hauling agricultural goods.

Some key points of interest for our members:
In addition to COVID-19’s impact, the pool of available drivers may be further disrupted by the appropriate prioritization of health clinics on essential/emergency patients rather than non- essential services such as providing alcohol and drug testing services for commercial driver’s license safety-sensitive functions. To prevent this major economic and transportation supply logistical problem, we recommend that FMSCA grant temporary flexibility for the issuance of restricted agricultural commercial driver’s licenses. For example, if pre-employment drug tests are unavailable, allow employers to use reasonable suspicion to remove the driver from a safety sensitive position and require the pre-employment drug test to be performed when testing resources become available.

"While, the agricultural exemption to the hours-of-service rules provides flexibility for movements of less than 150-air miles, provides no relief for longer movements. Food processers, animal feeding and pet food operations require a steady supply of raw and processed agricultural commodities, animal food and feed ingredients, and they often are not located within 150-air miles of their shipping point. Further, U.S. agricultural exports and by extension the agriculture supply chain depend upon the ability to efficiently transport agricultural products (food, farm, fiber) to international maritime export gateways, by truck, either to seaports or to rail ramps, both often well in excess of 150 miles from the origin farms, storage or processing facilities. Historically, trucks have served as the transportation mode that provides surge capacity for longer movements when disruption occurs within other transportation modes. As trucking capacity and the availability of drivers tightens due to COVID-19, neither surge nor normal trucking capacity may be adequately available to provide the required just-in-time deliveries to animal feeding operations, food processing and manufacturing plants, distribution facilities, export facilities and retail outlets, which could result in significant food chain supply disruptions. Examples of routine truck deliveries in excess of 150 air-miles that would benefit from hours-of- service relief include: Fertilizer from barge unloaders along the inland waterway system to agricultural retailers throughout the Midwest, Plains and Mid-South."
Missouri Fertilizer Control Program Implements Temporary Inspector Procedures
The Missouri Fertilizer Control Program has implemented temporary procedures for its inspectors while obtaining fertilizer samples during the COVID-19 pandemic. These procedures will allow the inspectors to carry out their duties with minimal risk for them and the fertilizer facilities.
TFI Signs Truck Weight Letter to States CARES Act Truck Weight Language
Trucking capacity was a significant challenge prior to COVID-19 and is more so now due to a surge in COVID-19 response needs. The challenge is made worse by closures of DMVs and testing clinics hindering the ability of employers to hire new drivers. The American Trucking Associations (ATA) has a helpful website (found here) for a variety of federal and state changes and closures, including driver license agency operating status and CDL extensions. For state-by-state information look toward the bottom of the webpage. Regarding truck weight standards, TFI signed a letter (found here ) with national agricultural organizations requesting states better harmonize truck weight standards.
MoDOT Issues Permit to Allow Trucks to Haul Up to 100,000 Pounds on Interstates, Other Highways
To help ensure the critical flow of goods to aid the state’s COVID-19 emergency response, the Missouri Department of Transportation today announced a free, temporary overweight permit that allows haulers to transport up to 100,000 pounds on any Missouri highway, including interstates, as long as certain criteria are met. Click here for more information.
Ethanol & Genetically Engineered Cows Fight COVID Virus
MO-AG's national affiliate, Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), held a virtual summit last week which brought together industry leaders, government officials, and scientific experts to maximize collaboration on vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. All expressed a desire to collaborate on the crisis. America’s ethanol plants have started to make hand sanitizer. America’s corn refiners and ethanol plants are “producing trainloads of industrial alcohol on a daily basis,” said the Corn Refiners Association, and using this alcohol to make hand sanitizers or other health-related sanitizing products. We (humans) also have some help from animals. SAB Biotherapeutics has genetically engineered cows to produce human antibodies to help fight diseases like MERS and the new coronavirus. SAB injects cows with a noninfectious part of the virus, causing them to produce fully human antibodies that will actually neutralize and bind to the live virus. SAB’s antibodies are different because they are polyclonal, which is the natural immune response to disease, making them less likely to become resistant. More information from BIO regarding the Coronavirus can be found here .
What Our Counterparts Are Up To...
Our friends in Ohio put together a great COVID-19 Resource Center where they have listed Coronavirus impacts in each state. This is a great resource to keep us all updated. Below are a few interesting tidbits as to what other states are up to:

OHIO: Everyone is flying American and Ohio flags to show unity in this crisis—thanks to “Flags of Freedom” for providing 500 flags that will fly at the pro-football hall of fame.

FLORIDA: Considering postponing their Annual Meeting, July 7-9, 2020.

MASSACHUSETTES: Beginning March 27, all travelers arriving to Massachusetts are instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days. This guidance will be displayed as posters at service plazas along 1-90 eastbound, distributed as flyers at major transportation hubs and posted on highway message boards

We have included a link on our COVID-19 Resource Page for you to view. Thank you to our good friends in Ohio for putting this together!
Check Out Our Resource Page
Can't find what you need here? Check out our COVID-19 Resource Page . Our Industry Relations representatives from Bayer, Nutrien, Corteva, and Syngenta have also released statements which we have made available on our resource page.

Missouri Legislature Update
The House was last in session March 18, when it passed a bill to supplement spending for the year that ends June 30. The Missouri Senate intends to return to work next week to work on supplemental spending for this fiscal year, but with protections in place to protect members from infection, Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden said. Once the Senate has amended the spending bill, it must return to the House to ratify any changes. In addition, the House has not passed any of the appropriation bills for the coming fiscal year and lawmakers must do so by May 8 under the Missouri Constitution. The House has not been in regular session since passing the supplemental spending bill. We will keep you updated on this issue in the coming days.
SAVE THE DATE
MO-AG Summer Meeting
July 9-10, 2020
Camden on the Lake
Osage Beach, MO