Rauner declares harvest emergency; much work needed to gain permits

With the declaration, a farmer with a permit may haul up to a maximum of 10 percent more than the standard weight restriction of the gross, axle and registered weight restrictions.

Rauner _declares _harvest _emergency _much _work _needed _gain _permits _1_636454956154514452Gov. Bruce Rauner announces his harvest emergency declaration at Bob Stewart’s farm near Yorkville. (Photo by Kevin Semlow)

By Kay Shipman

Gov. Bruce Rauner declared a state harvest season emergency today at Bob Stewart’s farm near Yorkville, giving road jurisdictions authority to issue the special free permits.

“This was not an easy decision, but we again thank Gov. Rauner for declaring a harvest season emergency to help offset the uncontrollable effects of weather and commodity markets on Illinois farmers,” said Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert Jr.

Rock Island County Farm Bureau members asked for the emergency declaration because of rain-delayed spring planting which translated into a late harvest.

“We didn’t start harvesting corn until Oct. 15,” said Brent Riewerts of Hillsdale, Rock Island County Farm Bureau vice president. “Everybody has the same window to get the crop out, and this declaration allows you to throw on an extra 50 or 60 bushels. It’s going to speed up our travel time by 5 to 10 percent by having that. We can put on a few more bushels and not break the law.”

Farmers will need to seek a permit from each authority with jurisdiction over the routes they plan to use, according to Kevin Rund, Illinois Farm Bureau transportation specialist.

Under a harvest season emergency, a farmer with a permit may haul up to a maximum of 10 percent more than the standard weight restriction of the gross, axle and registered weight restrictions, Rund explained. He added the 10 percent limit is the maximum a road authority may offer, and any authority may also issue a permit for an overweight of less than 10 percent above the standard limit.

For state routes, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) serves as the authority. Harvest season permits are not available for interstate highways. IDOT officials indicated the agency would use an automated permit, according to Rund.

Farmers need to check with local road authorities whether they plan to issue harvest season emergency permits and whether those will be a blanket permit or individual permits, Rund said. With individual permits, local authorities may put restrictions, such as which roads are designated for the permits or times of day the permit is valid, or special conditions, such as not valid during a rainstorm, he added.  

On county roads, farmers will need to check with county engineers in each respective county they will travel. In addition, farmers need to talk to township road commissioners for township roads and street departments for municipal streets.

When operating with a harvest season emergency permit, a farmer will need to carry a printed or electronic copy of each permit; copy of the form “OPER 993,” a special vehicle movement provision; and a copy of the governor’s declaration.

For more information, call IFB at 309-557-3274 or click here

Content for this story was provided by FarmWeekNow.com.

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