"K Tag" Radius Expands for Maryland Farmers - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

"K Tag" Radius Expands for Maryland Farmers

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DENTON, Md.- On many farms across Delmarva there are old trucks that look like they don't see much action anymore.  These old trucks are used to haul grain, fertilizer, corn, and many other products for farmers, especially in the fall harvest season.  These trucks use a special license plate, known as a K tag, which allows the owner to bypass inspection but they must stay within 10 miles of home.  Toward the end of the Maryland General Assembly's legislative session, farmers in the state were given good news: the radius will be expanded to 25 miles.

Caroline County farmer Harry Moreland says this increase will be a big help to farmers on the peninsula.

"Farms have been expanding and because of the competition from other farmers or for non farm uses of land, people are having to travel further and further to rent ground." said Moreland.

But that's not the only issue he says.

"Our suppliers are consolidating and getting farther and farther apart.  We had a grain elevator two miles from my home up until a year ago.  When I started farming there were three fertilizer dealers in Denton, now there are none." Moreland said.

Moreland has a farm 18 miles from home, which used to be out of reach.  Now, he will be able to drive his truck there and save big bucks on registration.

K tag plates cost $5, according to Moreland.

Some are concerned though that the increase in radius will allow more unsafe trucks on the road.  Trey White, a Federalsburg mechanic says some form of inspection should be done on the older vehicles.

"There should be some kind of a baseline that they should have to meet.  Some kind of a criteria, not necessarily a Maryland state inspection because that's a little much for something that old, but there should be some kind of checks for something that old I would think." said White.

Moreland says while in the past, many trucks were not maintained properly, now farmers are careful to replace old tires and maintain their vehicles.  The Maryland Farm Bureau says despite the fact that K tags can bypass inspection, they are still subject to side of the road inspections by the Maryland Department of Transportation to comply with safety equipment standards.

Moreland also tells WBOC the bill also cracks down on K tag fraud, saying that many people had abused the system previously.  He says the changes will make many farmers lives easier across the state.
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