Governor Rauner declares harvest emergency

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YORKVILLE, Ill (WAND)- Governor Bruce Rauner declared a statewide harvest emergency to assist farmers and grain handlers who are dealing with the fall out from weather delays. 

"Illinois is home to 72,00 farms on 26.7 million acres. We are among the top three corn producers in the nation. Moving corn and other crops in a timely and efficient manner affects the bottom line of hard-working farmers. This declaration is an appropriate response to an urgent need." said Governor Rauner. 

The declaration allows drivers of trucks carrying agricultural commodities over state highways to get a free permit to exceed gross vehicle weight limits by 10 percent. Local authorities may also waive the permit requirement. The emergency deceleration is in effect for 45 days. 

“The 2017 harvest is taking longer than usual. Erratic weather is a contributing factor. Further, for the fourth straight year, farm income is expected to be near or below break-even. Permitting farmers and truck drivers to haul larger than usual loads of grain will speed the process in getting harvested crops from field to grain elevator to final destination. We encourage farmers to apply for all necessary permits and to check with local road authorities to understand their policies for harvest emergency permits." said Richard Guebert, Jr, Illinois Farm Bureau President. 

The Illinois Department of Transportation already is mobilizing the permitting process and notifying law enforcement agencies throughout the state. More information can be found at https://truckpermits.dot.illinois.gov/.

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