Tricia Braid

Nov 06, 2017  |  Today's News |  Legislation & Regulation |  Farm Policy

In an on-farm ceremony yesterday, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner announced the signing of the so-called Harvest Emergency Declaration, which effectively allows farmers to load 10% extra weight into their grain transport vehicles for a 45-day period commencing November 5, 2017. IL Corn leaders penned a letter to the Governor in support of such a declaration on October 24th, noting that our farmers and grain facilities have faced an abnormally slow harvest, interrupted with erratic weather and a crop with less than favorable drying conditions in recent weeks.  The Harvest Emergency Declaration authority will allow farmers and grain facilities to offset the effects of this situation and deliver grain in a more efficient timeline when harvest resumes. It will also help reduce overhead costs. Please listen to the supplementary audio report for comments from Governor Rauner.


“Our farm families are the backbone of Illinois and the backbone of rural America,” Governor Rauner said, indicating they deserve this kind of consideration. “Today is an important, positive step to help the farm families across the state of Illinois. Our farmers have been hard hit by the weather this year.”


“I am officially declaring a harvest emergency across the entire state of Illinois because we are significantly behind in the harvest.” the Governor said.


Under a new law Governor Rauner signed Aug. 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 percent. Local authorities may also waive the permit requirement at their discretion. The Illinois Department of Transportation already is mobilizing the permitting process and notifying law enforcement agencies throughout the state. More information is available at


Jeff Adkisson, executive vice president of the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois, praised the governor's action, noting that a bumper crop combined with the harvest delays to compound the situation. "In years when harvest is better than anticipated, crops like corn and soybeans may need to be stored in piles outside of the traditional concrete or steel bins or tanks," Adkisson said. "This declaration will allow grain elevators to transport commodities out of their facilities quicker, thus making room for grain stored on the ground to be moved to more suitable storage structures."


The latest report from the Illinois Agricultural Statistics Service shows statewide, the Illinois harvest remains behind the 5-year average.


To obtain the permit:


The Illinois Emergency Harvest Permit can be obtained on the Illinois Transportation Automated Permits (ITAP) website. 


To order the permit you must create a log on for the ITAP site


A separate permit must be obtained for each truck moving overweight agricultural commodities.


Illinois Emergency Harvest Permits can be obtained from 11/5/2017 through 12/19/2017 at no cost.


The Illinois Emergency Harvest Permit only permits travel on state routes.  It does not cover travel on Interstates or local routes. Before beginning each move, all state routes must be checked  to verify that no route closures will be encountered and that no legal weight or posted ton structures are crossed.  


The issued permit, OPER 993 and the Governor's Emergency Harvest Proclamation 2017 should be carried in the overweight vehicle.