Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner declared a statewide harvest emergency on Sunday.
The emergency is designed to assist farmers and grain handlers who are grappling with the fallout of rain-related delays.
“Illinois is home to 72,000 farms on 26.7 million acres. We are among the top three corn producers in the nation,” Rauner said while visiting Stewart Farms in Yorkville Sunday afternoon. “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.”
Under a new Illinois law signed by Gov. Rauner on August 11, the declaration permits drivers of trucks carrying agricultural commodities over state highways to obtain a free permit to exceed gross vehicle weight limits by 10%.
“I would like to thank the governor for making this declaration today,” said Richard Guebert Jr., president of the Illinois Farm Bureau. “This harvest season emergency declaration will improve the transportation of our crops.”
According to the US Department of Agriculture’s data, the Illinois corn harvest at the end of October was 17% behind the prior year and 11% behind the five-year average.
(This story was originally published on November 6, 2017)