Farm Bureau applauds revamp of farm machinery laws

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Governor Scott Walker signed a bill into law that clarifies definitions of farm machinery, and makes it legal to operate such equipment on public roads.

“The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is very proud that the farming community was able to forge an agreement with town and county officials on this legislation in a bipartisan manner,” said Jim Holte, President of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

“For our state’s farm families and agricultural economy it was imperative that the debate over farm machinery on roads was resolved before the growing season,” Holte said. “A critical component of our state’s $59 billion agricultural economy is the ability for farmers to safely and legally operate farm machinery on roadways.”

The legislation modernizes Wisconsin’s antiquated laws concerning farm machinery by:

  • Clarifying the definition of an implement of husbandry (IOH).
  • Creating a new definition for agricultural commercial motor vehicles.
  • Establishing size parameters and lighting requirements for farm machinery operated on roadways.
  • Generally increasing weight limits by 15 percent for IOH with maximum axle weight limits of 23,000 pounds and total gross vehicle weight of 92,000 pounds.

Passed by both houses of the State Legislature earlier this year by wide bipartisan margins, the legislation was authored by State Senator Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon) and State Representative Keith Ripp (R-Lodi). Senate Bill 509, now known as Act 377, was signed by Governor Walker on Wednesday, April 23.

“We applaud Governor Scott Walker and the State Legislature for their efforts,” Holte said. “It’s now up to farmers to talk with their local officials about how this law will be implemented in their town and county.”

For Farm Bureau’s summary of Act 377, please visit www.wfbf.com/legislative/ioh.



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