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MADISON – The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation applauds Governor Walker’s signature of a bill that makes improvements to law that allowed farmers to legally operate their farm machinery on roadways.
“Today [April 29] Governor Walker, behind the legislative leadership of Senator Jerry Petrowski and Representative Keith Ripp, signed Assembly Bill 113 into law and initiated the second phase of the implements of husbandry law,” said Jim Holte, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President.
“More than twenty tweaks were made in this bill to improve upon the work we accomplished with last year’s Wisconsin Act 377. Over the last year farmers, farm organizations and local government officials communicated with the bill’s authors to address a number of issues. This type of open communication and cooperation culminated with today’s bill signing.”
“However, it is likely that our work doesn’t end here. As this law is implemented across the state, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation will continue to reach out to farmers, farm organizations and others to offer information and discuss issues regarding the operation of overweight and over-length farm machinery on Wisconsin roads,” Holte added. “We are committed to taking any concerns back to Sen. Petrowski and Rep. Ripp as these two gentlemen, along with Governor Walker, have clearly demonstrated they want to work with us to make Wisconsin agriculture stronger.”
The bill makes more than 20 adjustments to the Implements of Husbandry (IOH) law, including:
• Clarifies in state statute that IOH with rubber tracks can legally operate on Wisconsin roadways.
• To alleviate the potential issuance of thousands of permits across the state, it authorizes an IOH or (agricultural commercial motor vehicle) Ag-CMV being legally operated with a permit to cross any intersecting highway under the jurisdiction of the maintaining authority that issued the permit.
• Provides the same weight, length, width and height limitations for transporting IOH by trailer or semitrailer from farm-to-farm, from field-to-field, or from farm-to-field to the same extent as if the IOH were being operated on the roadway.
• The special axle weight exemption given to Category B planting, tillage, cultivating and harvesting IOH is also given to Ag-CMVs that directly distribute feed to livestock, or directly apply fertilizer, lime, spray or seeds, but not manure, to a farm field.
• Ag-CMVs that have the capability to directly apply manure to a field, but are unable to due to field conditions, will be able to park on a road and off-load the manure to another piece of equipment for application, and still retain Ag-CMV status.
Earlier this month the State Senate and State Assembly unanimously approved Assembly Bill 113.
The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general farm organization, made up of 61 county Farm Bureaus and representing agriculturists and farms of every size, commodity and management style.