The first bill gives clear authority for local municipalities to permit the piping of liquid manure within a highway right-of-way.

Senate Bill 390 also plays a role in preserving roads.

“With the idea of limiting excessive road use by semi tractors and manure tankers to help preserve an aging and underfunded infrastructure, it’s important we find alternative means to transport liquid manure from point source to the fields,” Rob Richard, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s senior director of governmental relations, said in a press release.

Richard added that the bill preserves landowner rights and does not lessen someone’s responsibility to prevent, clean up or pay for a manure spill.

The second bill makes changes to the state’s laws regarding the use of farm machinery on roadways.

Senate Bill 448 is the third bill regarding implements of husbandry (IOH) to be addressed by the legislature in the last two years. The two previous bills were signed into law in April 2014 and 2015.

“Senate Bill 448, like its predecessor, addressed some issues that are more technical in nature as we strive to make this law work in a practical manner,” Richard said in the release.

Current law requires an implement dealer to disclose the axle weight and gross vehicle weight of an implement upon sale. This bill further clarifies that the disclosure must be in writing and that the “unladen” vehicle weight be disclosed at the point of sale.

The definition of farm tractor has been updated to reflect recent changes in statutory language from the two previous IOH bills.

The bill changes several references in statutes of “from farm to field, from field to field, or from farm to farm” to “to or from a farm-related destination” to capture the movement between or among farms, fields, agricultural storage or processing facilities, locations where an IOH or Ag-CMV is stored, or any combination of these.

Three specific changes have been made to the statutes governing the definition and use of the slow-moving vehicle sign.

The 2015 Budget Act created a provision allowing a farm tractor to be exempt from registration for, among other things, “occasional personal use, but not for regular daily transportation.” This language is being deleted to instead permit the registration exemption for “testing, maintenance, and storage purposes.”

Federal law does not authorize an Ag-CMV that exceeds 8.5 feet in width to be operated on the interstate highway system unless it has an oversize permit from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

For the movement of IOH within a 75-mile radius from implement dealer to farmer or vice versa, the statutes are clarified with regard to the operation, towing or transport of IOH.

 
The bill clarifies that if someone is transporting an IOH that exceeds 8.5 feet in width at times other than hours of darkness, they must have amber flashers activated to mark the lateral extremities of the IOH.

The bill allows an applicant for a no-fee permit to submit only one application for multiple IOH or Ag-CMVs if those vehicles listed in the application are identical.

The third bill allows farmers additional time to operate at increased weight limits during the fall harvest.

Senate Bill 509 changes the start date for the weight exemption from Sept. 1 to Aug. 1. It passed both houses of the Legislature in February and was signed into law March 1.

Certain agricultural vehicles are now allowed to exceed weight limits, without a permit, by 15 percent between Aug. 1 and Dec. 31 of each year. Commonly referred to as the fall harvest exemption, it allows farmers to transport larger loads of harvested crops from the field to the farm or storage facilities during crucial harvest times.