Emergency Declaration Assists Agriculture through End of Harvest

Governor Bruce Rauner declared a harvest emergency, for the second year in a row, to help level the playing field between Illinois farmers and crop haulers and those in neighboring states. Assistant House Minority Leader Norine Hammond applauded the action which creates a no fee permit for increased gross axle weight limits for agricultural commodities haulers.
Representative Hammond said, “The Governor’s action will allow for a more successful harvesting season, I am pleased that he, once again, made this declaration to assist our leading industry- agriculture.” She added that this action bridges the gap between the 2018 harvest season and a new law, House Bill 5749- that she was a Chief Co-Sponsor of, which takes effect next year.  

The emergency declaration is in effect from Monday, Sept. 10, to Dec. 31, 2018, and enables crop haulers to seek free Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) permits to exceed legal maximum gross vehicle and gross axle weight limits or the vehicle’s registered gross weight, whichever is less, by no more than 10 percent on state and federal highways under IDOT’s jurisdiction, except interstates. (Federal requirements prohibit inclusion of interstates.)
 
“We appreciate Gov. Rauner declaring an emergency situation for the 2018 harvest season, especially in light of the declining incomes and market turmoil which farmers are currently facing,” said Richard Guebert Jr., president, Illinois Farm Bureau. “This declaration opens the door for increased efficiencies for farmers and truck drivers hauling agricultural commodities and will help offset any uncontrollable effects of weather and commodity markets, allowing farmers the freedom to move what is projected to be a record-breaking crop.”
 
Permits will be issued at no charge, but applicants must obtain a route authorization number every two weeks. The harvest emergency permit and other information on the permitting process can be obtained through IDOT’s automated permitting web application at https://webapps.dot.illinois.gov/ITAP.

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