The Wisconsin state Assembly approved its version of the Implements of Husbandry bill March 20 on an 82-11 vote. The bill has been amended and tweaked numerous times over the winter as farm organizations and government officials sought to reach a compromise.

The bill, authored by state Rep. Keith Ripp, R-Lodi, and state Sen. Jerry Petrowski, R-Marathon, extends weight limits from a maximum single axle weight of 20,000 pounds to 23,000 and the maximum gross vehicle weight would go from 80,000 to 92,000 pounds. It also addresses length and width limits, requiring more lights if vehicles are longer than a prescribed length.

The legislation would require farmers and large equipment operators to secure a 12-month permit from their local town, county or state unit of government, depending on the roads the equipment will be operated on.

Farmers said the bill was necessary to avoid being ticketed for oversized vehicles during the upcoming spring planting season.

Since the bill was amended by the Assembly, it will now go back to the Senate for approval before it goes to Gov. Scott Walker for his consideration.