Rural Issue

Postal service delays could be permanent

The US Postal Service has proposed revisions to service standards including the extension of first-class mail deliveries from 1-3 days out to five days.

National Farmers Union President Rob Larew submitted comments to USPS opposing the idea, saying it would be “catastrophic” for farmers, especially those who send live animals like chicks and bees via the postal system. Packages with ag products, like seeds and parts, delivered during planting and harvest are critical to operations that live hours from distributors.

Larew says in situations where priority mail is not an option, first-class mail is the affordable and timely source for many rural residents to receive essentials like medication and for the 14.5 million people in the US without reliable broadband it is their primary source of connectivity aside from a phone.

NFU suggests USPS should be focused on improving delays experienced during the pandemic, instead of making them permanent. Public comments on the proposal closed last week.            

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