* From last Wednesday…
Farmers in Illinois are asking Gov. Bruce Rauner for a little help as they try to quickly wrap up this fall’s harvest.
Because of a rainy spring and late rain this fall, there are still farmers in some parts of Illinois with acres and acres of corn and beans in their fields, and they are running out of time to harvest it.
The Illinois Farm Bureau asked Rauner for a Harvest Season Emergency declaration about two weeks ago.
Kevin Rund with the Farm Bureau said a declaration will allow farmers to add 10 percent more grain to the trucks taking their crops to storage. […]
But farmers have not yet heard back from the governor’s office. Rauner himself is in Israel this week on a weeklong trade mission.
I asked the governor’s office for comment last week, but never heard back.
Gov. Bruce Rauner has declared a “harvest emergency” across Illinois.
The designation means trucks carrying grain can exceed weight limits by 10 percent. Jeff Kirwan, with the Illinois Farm Bureau, says weather challenges have made for a unique harvest season.
* But farmers will still have to deal with red tape…
“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.