New interpretation of old law could cost farmers

Photo Credit: File photo

A 32 year old law could cause a few problems for farmers.

The U-S Department of Transportation and the Illinois Department of Transportation have a new interpretation of a law that affects farmers who crop share.

When farmers harvest grain from a field they don't own, part of the profit of selling that grain belongs to the land owner.

A new interpretation of an old law identifies the driver of that truck transporting grain a "for hire" driver.

Under Department of Transportation interpretation of the law, the driver should have a Commercial Driver's License.

That means drug tests, more paper work and more fees for farmers.

Also, insurance limits will have to be higher.

The Illinois Farm Bureau has already met with representatives from the U.S. D.O.T. and I-DOT in an effort to get them to re-evaluate the new interpretation.

Adams County Farm Bureau President Shawn Valter says, "Illinois case law does say the tenant owns the crop until it has been divided. That's one thing the Illinois Farm Bureau is looking into. Technically, the crop is not divided until it gets to the grain elevator and goes across the scale and is weighed."

Valter tells KHQA this is all up in the air right now, and he hopes it's settled by the time harvest season rolls around.