The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation applauds the Wisconsin State Senate’s passage of a bill that improves a law passed last year that allowed farmers to legally operate their farm machinery on roadways.
The Senate approved Assembly Bill 113 by a voice vote on Tuesday, April 21. The bill was authored by State Senator Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon) and State Representative Keith Ripp (R-Lodi).
“Wisconsin farmers are one step closer to improving how overweight and over-length farm machinery can be moved in Wisconsin,” said Rob Richard, Senior Director of Governmental Relations for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation. “Behind the leadership of the bill’s authors, Sen. Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon) and Rep. Keith Ripp (R-Lodi), the Senate passed Assembly Bill 113 by an overwhelming vote and we look forward to having Governor Walker sign the legislation into law very soon.”
“After the passage of last year’s implements of husbandry law – Wisconsin Act 377, everyone knew Sen. Petrowski and Rep. Ripp would get the stakeholders back to the table to address or refine some aspects of the law. Assembly Bill 113 is a 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 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 bill passed the State Assembly unanimously on April 14. The bill now moves on to Governor Scott Walker’s desk for his expected approval.