Those at the Alabama Farmers Federation said the organization doesn’t have an official stance on the issue but says it wouldn’t have a huge impact on farmers.
“The time of day is going to be irrelevant in terms of what they’ve got to do,” Alabama Farmers Federation Director of Agriculture and Governmental Programs Mitt Walker said.
U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R – Alabama) co-sponsored the Sunshine Protection Act for the nation to spring forward and stay there. The Senate passed it unanimously by voice vote Tuesday.
“My phone rang more than anything that I’ve done since I’ve been here. People want the extra hour of daylight,” Tuberville said.
Tuberville added switching to daylight saving time permanently would help farmers.
“That would give them an extra hour during the day where they could safely plant, safely harvest their crops, because when it gets dark, it gets awful touchy driving those big tractors,” Tuberville said.
Walker says farming is a sunup to sundown job, regardless of what the clock says. Plus, he says working in the dark isn’t as much a challenge today as in the past.
“We’ve even got equipment where row crop guys can work at night with lights and GPS technology and those types of things. I don’t know that this is going to have a tremendous impact on farmers one way or another,” Walker said.
Founder of Save Standard Time Jay Pea says daylight saving time leads to chronic sleep deprivation when people go to bed later but still wake up at the same time.
“It affects our mood, our health. It reduces our immunity, reduces our longevity, it can increase chronic illnesses, cancer heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity,” Pea said.
He says permanent standard time would be better for health, and hopes the House takes more time to consider the switch.
“We’re more pleased to be seeing that on the House side, that they are taking it more slowly and actually looking at the data, holding a hearing, inviting the experts,” Pea said.
While the U.S. Senate passed the bill it would still need to be passed by the House of Representatives and signed by the President in order to become law.