Does the agricultural use exemption, Section 311(e)(5), apply to fuels used by harvesting services to transport crops from the farm to the market or the food processor? Does the agricultural use exemption apply to the fuel used by the farmer to transport crops from the farm to the market or the food processor?
The exemption for routine agricultural use under Sections 311 and 312 is designed to eliminate the reporting of fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemical substances when applied, administered, or otherwise used as part of routine agricultural activities (October 15, 1987, 52 FR 38344). In other words, the agricultural exemption is intended primarily to cover hazardous chemicals used or stored at the farm facility. The term “agricultural” is a broad term encompassing a wide range of growing operations, farms, nurseries and other horticultural operations (52 FR 38344). Harvesting service is not considered to be part of the growing operation. Therefore, the fuel used by the harvesting service must be reported under sections 311 and 312 if it exceeds the reporting threshold. However, fuel used by the farmer and which is located at the farm itself would be exempt.