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Hay Salvage and Ditch Mowing

Hay Salvage and Ditch Mowing

The Ministry of Highways asks rural municipal administrators to inform residents that hay along provincial highway ditches is being provided to producers for salvage at no cost. Key dates are shown below:

·         Until July 8: Hay Salvage

Now until July 8, a landowner or lessee nearest to a highway ditch has the first option to cut or bale hay unless the mowing contractor has begun salvage. Participants must:

o    Cut hay at a uniform height in ditches;

o    Place bales at least eight meters away from the highway shoulder; and

o    Remove bales by August 8.

The ministry may also remove and dispose of hay bales in locations deemed unsafe for motorists. Participants can contact their local Ministry of Highways Office to provide contact information and where they are salvaging hay to avoid potential disputes.

·         Until July 15: Early Ditch Mowing (weather dependent)

The Ministry of Highways is working on its annual early mowing program until July 15. Contractors mow a four-metre shoulder cut adjacent to the road along Highways 1, 7, 11, 16 and 39, as well as portions of Highways 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 10. Some highway intersections, interchanges, railway crossings and tourism facilities may receive a full ditch cut to ensure good sightlines.

·         July 9 to August 8: Hay Salvage

Anyone can cut and bale hay without permission from the adjacent landowner or lessee, as long as no salvage operations have already begun. Bales must be removed by August 8.

·         July 15 to October 15: Regular Ditch Mowing (weather dependent)

Contractors begin mowing the width of ditches along all four-lane highways. Heavily travelled two-lane highways will receive a 12-metre cut. Secondary highways will receive an eight-metre cut. All other highways get a four-metre cut adjacent to the highway shoulder as required to ensure visibility and weed control.

·         August 8: Bale Removal

Participants must remove bales by this date, otherwise they may be subject to removal and disposal by the Ministry of Highways. As well, bales must be removed immediately following haying operations after August 8. Ministry staff may either make a courtesy call to participants or place orange flags in bales that have exceeded the specified removal period. Flags are marked with a removal date that allows participants one week to remove bales, if public safety is not at risk.

Participants not adhering to the requirements may become ineligible to hay on the highway right-of-way.

For more information, visit the Ministry of Highways' Ditch Mowing and Hay Salvage page.

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