On November 14 Iowa Governor Terry Branstad extended an exemption made earlier this fall to allow the hauling of overweight loads of soybeans, corn, hay, straw and stover on state roadways this fall during harvest season. That proclamation is set to expire at midnight November 27.
"Many Iowans' livelihoods depend on a smooth, efficient harvest season," says Branstad. "The exemption was needed this fall to allow the movement of Iowa's commodities and help Iowa farmers during harvest." The allowance applies to loads transported on all highways within Iowa, except the interstate system and on roads and bridges that have posted weight limits. The exemption is intended to allow vehicles transporting grain, hay, straw and stover to be overweight, not exceeding 90,000 pounds gross weight, without a permit for the duration of this exemption period. The Iowa Corn Growers Association lobbied to get the harvest weight limit exemption granted and is grateful to the governor for doing this.
Corn Growers Association support Iowa's MORAST withdrawal
In other news from the Iowa Corn Growers Association, ICGA last week announced it's support for Iowa to withdraw from the Missouri River Association of States and Tribes (MORAST). Iowa Governor Terry Branstad announced on November 4 that the state of Iowa has decided to no longer be a member of the group of states that advise the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on management of the river. Since then, some Iowans have questioned the state's decision to withdraw from the advisory group.
The Iowa Corn Growers Association supports the withdrawal from MORAST, as the MORAST group consistently advocates against Iowa's interests, says Mindy Larsen Poldberg, director of government relations for ICGA. ICGA president Kevin Ross, a western Iowa farmer, recently wrote a letter to the editor of newspapers across the state outlining the reasons ICGA has encouraged the Governor of Iowa to withdraw Iowa's membership in MORAST. Iowa is still able to engage in Missouri River issues, he points out, and leaving the organization also creates new opportunities to connect with states that have the same policies of prioritizing flood control and economic activity such as navigation, for Missouri River management. Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman also announced that Nebraska has withdrawn from the MORAST group.
Iowa governor says flood control should be priority on Missouri River
Branstad, in announcing Iowa's pullout of MORAST, said: "I do not believe that MORAST is the best avenue to pursue Iowa's interest and priorities. Rather, I believe more direct discussions with relevant local, state and federal partners will allow for enhanced engagement and better prioritization of flood control over recreational and other uses."
Branstad says Iowa will continue to be a part of the Missouri River Working Group, which cam together this year after the flooding on the Missouri River. That group includes Iowa, the Dakotas, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri and Wyoming. The working group governors were critical of the handling of the flood by the Army Corps of Engineers and promised to explore ways to open up the lines of communications with the Corps.The group also said flood control should be the top priority of Missouri River management. Branstad says the MORAST group was not responsive to Iowa's concerns about flood control.