The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation applauds the Wisconsin State Assembly’s passage of a bill that improves a law passed last year that allowed farmers to legally operate their farm machinery on roadways.
The Assembly approved Assembly Bill 113 by a unanimous vote on Tuesday, April 14. The bill was authored by State Representative Keith Ripp (R-Lodi) and State Senator Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon).
“Representative Keith Ripp and Senator Jerry Petrowski have demonstrated remarkable leadership when it comes to giving farmers the ability to operate overweight and over length farm machinery on our roads,” said Rob Richard, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Senior Director of Governmental Relations.
“It was understood that after Implements of Husbandry (IOH) legislation was passed last year, Rep. Ripp and Sen. Petrowski would bring stakeholder groups back to the table to address or refine some aspects of the law,” Richard said. “Assembly Bill 113 is the culmination of these two leaders working with farm organizations, local governments and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to continue the conversation and help make the new law work for everyone involved.”
The bill makes more than 20 adjustments to the 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.
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.