Gov. Rauner Declares Harvest Emergency

Nov 6, 2017

A grain truck fills a storage bin at harvest time.
Credit Daimon Eklund / Facebook

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.

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.

"When you got the weather, the type of weather we have ... that slows them up. 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." -Raymond Poe, Director, Illinois Dept. of Agriculture

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

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. 

Additional reporting for this story was provided by The Associated Press.