Gov. Rauner Declares ‘Harvest Emergency’ In Illinois

November 06, 2017
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner announces a statewide harvest emergency, allowing trucks carrying grain to exceed weight limits by 10 percent.

Governor Rauner's Office

Governor Bruce Rauner has declared a “harvest emergency” across Illinois. The designation means trucks carrying grain can exceed weight limits by 10 percent.

State Agriculture Director Raymond Poe says it should help farmers get their product to market more efficiently.

“When you got the weather, the type of weather we have ... that slows them up," Poe said at a news conference yesterday. "And every day that you can get that crop out quicker is, a lot of times, the day that the yields are going to be a lot better."

Poe says it could help farmers move as much as 70 more acres per day.

Wet weather earlier this year delayed planting in parts of the state, which in turn delays the harvest. That’s led to congestion at grain elevators.

Jeff Kirwan, with the Illinois Farm Bureau, says weather challenges have made for a unique harvest season.

“We have had good yields, but that also has brought about a lot of moving grain around," Kirwan said. "We have elevators that are struggling to get grain moved from their facility to a terminal, and this will allow them to be more efficient."

Rauner's office says federal statistics show that at the end of October, the Illinois corn harvest was 17 percentage points behind last year.

The emergency declaration is in effect for 45 days starting Sunday.

Story source: Illinois Public Radio