Take a drive in the country in the summer and you see it almost everywhere, ditch hay being cut and baled. While certainly not the cream of the crop, ditch is suitable for young stock, horses or in case of a real dry year, something to at least tide your cattle over for the time being.

Recently the Minnesota Department of Transportation adopted a statewide standard for mowing and baling in the right of way and installed a permitting process. State law requires that MnDOT manage right of way mowing. Under this decision, mowing a state highway right of way without a permit is a misdemeanor.  Landowners who wanted to mow on right of way adjacent to their property were going to need to apply for a permit before the end of January. After that date others may apply for permits to mow on state right of way on a fire-come, first-serve basis.

The Minnesota legislature successfully authored a bill placing a moratorium on these new mowing rules along state highways until May of 2018. Note we're talking state not county or township roads.

Those who wish to have a say in future decisions on this subject are invited to a meeting coming up on Tuesday, November 14 at the South Central College in north Mankato. The meeting will run 6-8PM.

You may also voice your opinion by going to the MnDOT web site.