YORKVILLE, Ill. -- Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has declared a statewide harvest emergency to help agricultural workers hit hard by rain-related delays.
The Republican issued a statement saying the declaration is in effect for 45 days starting Sunday. The declaration means drivers of trucks carrying agricultural commodities, like grain, can get a free permit to exceed gross vehicle limits. Local authorities can also waive the permit requirement.
State officials say Illinois has 72,000 farms on 26.7 million acres and is among the top corn producers in the country.
Rauner's office says federal statistics show that the Illinois corn harvest at the end of October was 17 percentage points behind the year before.
Richard Guebert Jr. is president of the Illinois Farm Bureau and says the declaration will help improve the transportation of crops.