Hay harvesting on roadsides was in the news in two Midwestern states last week.
The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) warned farmers that hay harvesting without permits on right of ways along state and federal highways is trespassing. The reminder detailed several changes in the required hay permits, including the following:
• Hay permits expire Sept. 30 annually. KDOT maintenance crews begin mowing highway rights of way starting Oct. 1.
• Hay harvesting is not permitted on interstate highway right of ways.
• Equipment can’t be left on right of ways longer than 10 days.
• County noxious weed director signatures are no longer required.
• KDOT reserves the right to retain up to 20% of bales harvested from right of ways as part of the permit agreement.
An updated KDOT hay permit form can be found online at www.ksdot.org/offtransinfo/Form317.pdf.
In neighboring Nebraska, a bill aimed at giving farmers more chances to harvest hay along state highways was introduced in the state Legislature.
The measure, submitted by State Sen. Tyson Larson, would let farmers mow and harvest hay in state highway right of ways every year starting on July 15. Under current state law, farmers are limited to mowing and haying those areas once every other year. Larson noted that state employees often mow the ditches now. He says the proposed change would generate revenue for the state and help farmers.
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