Mulch & Soil Industry Issues
Current industry challenges and actions by the Council in response.
Over 60% of annual mulch and soil shipments are made between March 1 and June 30 each year.
That represents and estimated 33 million cubic yards of mulch and 15 million cubic yards of soils in 4 months.
The national shortage of 80,000 truck drivers in 2019 was severely aggrevated by the pandemic in 2020.
Now, a significantly increased market demand for mulch & soil products is challenged by even fewer transportation resourses than before the pandemic.
The MSC Transportation Committee worked with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to have mulch and soil exempted from Hours-of-Service (HOS) regulations by being defined under 49 CFR Part 395.2 as a "Farm Supply" during the growing and harvesting season of each state.
The Council is now engaged in educating manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, transportation companies and transportation officials of the new classification of mulch & soil products as farm supplies for the 2021 shipping season, and beyond.
Uniform Training on W&M for Packages Lebeled by Volume.
The Much & Soil Council strongly supports the efforts of the state Weights & Measures Departments to maintain a level playing field for competition in intrastate and interstate commerce.
Fair, impartial and accurate product testing is essential in maintainng fair competition in a free and open market.
The MSC has taken an active role in developing proper test protocols for packaged mulch and soil products by working with the National Conference on Weights & Measures (NCWM) and the National Institutes of Standards & Technology (NIST).
In addition to helping with the development of test standards and procedures, the Mulch & Soil Council worked jointly with NIST to produce 6 highly focused training videos to provide uniform traing of both regulatory and industry officials to assure everyone is properly informed of the regulatory requirements and test procedures for checking the net contents of mulch and soil packages labeled by volume.
These uniform training videos were first used in the December 2020 MSC Plant Managers Training Course on Weights & Measures. In Janaury 2021, The Office of Weights & Measures (OWM) at NIST released the 6 training videos to state W&M officials for online training for the 2021 product inspection season.
The MSC efforts to strengthen W&M compliance throughout the industry is an ongoing activity. For further information, please visit: click here