October 30, 2009

Emergency Declaration to Help Missouri Farmers with Harvest

With the immediate weather forecast calling for a much needed break in the wet weather, Missouri farmers will be scrambling to get their crops harvested as soon as the ground dries.  To help in that process, today the Missouri Department of Agriculture asked the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) to issue an emergency declaration waiving certain regulations for Missouri farmers who are rushed to harvest crops and transport their commodities.  The declaration will allow farmers to run their loaded trucks at 10 percent above the required weight limit providing much needed assistance to farmers in getting their corn and soybeans harvested from the fields and stored in farm bins or hauled to their local grain elevators and processors.  In addition, the Department of Agriculture requested that farmers be granted a 60-day waiver to the hours-of-service requirements. 

"The combination of late plantings and excessive rain across Missouri over the past 30 days has only compounded financial hardships for farmers costing them millions of dollars.  This emergency declaration will help farmers facing unprecedented harvesting problems get their crops out of their fields and to the markets," said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler.  "Gov. Jay Nixon and the Department of Agriculture continue to work together to find common sense solutions like this to assist agriculture producers.  MoDOT's quick action and cooperation will go a long way toward helping Missouri farmers." 

With MoDOT's declaration, participating farmers will be required to abide by the following:

  • Loaded gross weight can be no greater than 10 percent above the gross vehicle weight rating of the vehicle licensed weight.
  • Limit transport of row crop commodities from the farm to a local storage facility and empty return trips to the farm.
  • When crossing a bridge, the drive must restrict the vehicle speed to no more than 45 miles per hour and must center the truck between two lanes of the bridge.
  • Travel on highways other than Missouri interstate highways - no interstate travel will be permitted. 
  • While transporting row crops from farm to storage, farmers are not required to abide by hours-of-service laws.
  • Must carry a copy of the emergency declaration in each vehicle that operates in response to relief efforts.

 To obtain an emergency declaration, visit www.modot.org/mcs.