(SPRINGFIELD) Governor Bruce Rauner yesterday declared a harvest emergency to help level the playing field between Illinois farmers and crop haulers and those in neighboring states. The action bridges the gap between the 2018 harvest season and a new law the Governor signed back on August 25 that takes effect next year. Going forward, that measure will allow for an annual harvest-season easing of gross vehicle and gross axle weight limits for agricultural commodities haulers with a free permit. The emergency declaration is in effect from this coming Monday, September 10, through the end of the year, December 31, 2018, and enables crop haulers to seek free IDOT (Illinois Department of Transportation) permits to exceed legal maximum gross vehicle and gross axle weight limits or the vehicle’s registered gross weight, whichever is less, by no more than ten percenet (10%) on state and federal highways under IDOT’s jurisdiction, except interstates. More details on the permit process are available online at www.webapps.dot.illinois.gov/ITAP.