Farmers in Nebraska are facing difficulties because they own heavy farm equipment. Plus, they own working farm land in different geographic locations.
The problem? They have to get their tractors, spreaders, application vehicles and trucks from one place to the other.[private]
Nebraska roads weren’t built for modern day heavy farm equipment, so the legislature is debating a bill to keep heavy farm equipment off the roads and from tearing up those roads. Like that would solve the problem?
The farmers aren’t happy. One was fined $2,800 for driving his equipment on gravel roads. Some of the fines have been dismissed because the law does not identify which piece of equipment is subject to weight restrictions. But the problem is still there. Restrict vehicles or rebuild roads. One causes livelihood issues and the other needs tax dollars.
Agriculture has never had a lot of political leverage in West Virginia, but that’s changing as the industrial and mining picture shrinks and the agricultural impact grows.
Let’s hope there’s not an effort in West Virginia to keep farm equipment off our highways. In our favor, in this area, we’ve had large equipment and heavy trucks for years, from farm use to feed trucks to wood product transport. We might be lucky and not have much of a problem. Plus the roads in Hardy County seem to be in much better shape than in other parts of the state.
Those of us who live in rural areas know how important roads are to the poultry business and other agricultural interests. The rest of us who depend on food, jobs, and business from agriculture, should also know the importance of these highways.
We hope the saner heads will prevail in Nebraska and that the question of running farm equipment on our highways never becomes an issue in West Virginia.[/private]