Executive order permits trucks to haul more hay

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Tough drought conditions have led Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam to issue an executive order easing restrictions on trucks that haul hay in one of the top-producing hay states in the country.

Trucks that transport hay on Tennessee highways during the day can now have loads up to 13 feet, 6 inches high and up to 14 feet wide, according to heraldchronicle.com.

“Agriculture is critical to our state’s economy, and rain is a critical ingredient that farmers need to keep their businesses running,” Haslam said. “This order will allow haulers to move hay across and through Tennessee efficiently, so farmers can feed their livestock during these drought conditions.”

A round bale of hay, on average, is about seven feet in diameter. The larger loads can be hauled without the need for a special permit.

Tennessee ranks fifth in the nation in terms of hay production. The state is expected to produce nearly four million tons of hay in 2016.