WHEREAS, temperatures above ninety degrees Fahrenheit (90�F) and relative humidity above eighty-five percent (85%) cause and/or contribute to the rapid growth of the types of fungi which cause aflatoxin, a group of extremely toxic chemicals that may occur when certain fungi infect grain, including corn, and form secondary metabolites;

WHEREAS, as a result of the severe drought and the prolonged period in July of record and near record-breaking high temperatures and high relative humidity, there is an imminent threat of aflatoxin rapidly spreading and destroying most of Louisiana's remaining corn harvest for the year 2000;

WHEREAS, R.S. 32:387(C)(2) authorizes the secretary of the Department of Transportation and Development to "issue special permits he finds essential and in the best interest of the state by reason of an emergency situation, unusual circumstances, natural catastrophes, or disasters affecting the transportation on the highways of the state of farm products in their natural state";

WHEREAS, due to imminent threat of aflatoxin destroying the remainder of Louisiana's 2000 corn harvest, there is both a vital public interest and an economic necessity which demands the harvested corn in its natural state be transported to elevators by the most direct and expeditious routes possible;

NOW THEREFORE, I, M.J. "MIKE" FOSTER, JR., Governor of the state of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and the laws of the state of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:

SECTION 1: Pursuant to R.S. 32:387(C)(2), the secretary of the Department of Transportation and Development shall issue special farm product permits for the remaining period of the Louisiana 2000 corn harvest season, which shall not be construed to last beyond September 15, 2000, for the operation of vehicles and/or trucks which haul or transport corn harvested in Louisiana and still in its natural state, at a gross weight not to exceed one hundred thousand pounds (100,000 lbs.), on individually designated routes. As used herein, "individually designated routes" shall mean routes not otherwise authorized by R.S. 32:387.9 for persons issued a special annual permit for the operation of trucks hauling agronomic or horticulture crops in their natural state.

SECTION 2: Pursuant to R.S. 32:387(C)(2), the secretary of the Department of Transportation and Development may establish and collect a reasonable fee in an amount not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100.00) for each special farm product permit issued pursuant to Section 1 of this Order.

SECTION 3: All departments, commissions, boards, agencies, and officers of the state, or any political subdivision thereof, are authorized and directed to cooperate in the implementation of the provisions of this Order.

SECTION 4: This Order is effective upon signature and shall continue in effect until September 15, 2000, unless amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by the governor, or terminated by operation of law.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the city of Baton Rouge, on this 31st day of July, 2000.

M. J "Mike" Foster, Jr.

Fox McKeithen
Secretary of State