Governor declares 2018 harvest emergency

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) - Governor Bruce Rauner has declared a harvest emergency. 

By declaring the emergency, Rauner is helping to level the playing field between Illinois farmers, crop haulers, and people in nearby states. 

He said it will bridge the gap between the 2018 harvest season and a new law he signed that will take effect in 2019.

It will allow for an annual harvest-season easing of gross vehicle and gross axle weight limits for agricultural commodities haulers with a free permit.

“We have heard from Illinois’ trucking industry and from farmers who are operating on thin profit margins in today’s agricultural climate,” Rauner said before making his announcement at the Ladage Farm in Auburn. “Today’s harvest emergency declaration recognizes that the weight-restriction structure in place in Illinois put our farmers and truckers at a disadvantage.

“They cannot and should not be forced to wait until the 2019 harvest season to reap the economic benefits of eased weight limits,” he said. “Now they won’t have to as they take their crops to market, processing or storage.”

The emergency declaration is in effect from Monday, Sept. 10 through Dec. 31, 2018.

It lets crop haulers seek free Illinois Department of Transportation 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.

Applicants must obtain a route authorization number every two weeks.

The harvest emergency permit and other information on the permitting process can be obtained by clicking HERE

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