Sask. ditches open for haying July 8

Ditches on provincial highways will be open Tuesday for anyone to cut and bale hay or grass, the Saskatchewan government said Monday.

Up until July 8, landowners, leaseholders or their designates have the first option either to cut or bale ditch hay along provincial roads, or to grant permission to others to do so.

“These deadlines and guidelines are designed to give everyone an equal opportunity to harvest this material from Crown land,” provincial Highways Minister Wayne Elhard said Monday.

Starting Tuesday, anyone cut and bale the hay or grass in a highway ditch without contacting or getting the permission of the nearby landowner, lessee or designate, as long as a harvest hasn’t started already, the province said.

Hay must be cut to uniform height, leaving a “neat appearance,” the province said. Bales of hay must be at least eight metres from the edge of the shoulder of a highway and must be removed from the highway right-of-way by Aug. 8. Bales not removed by Aug. 8 or left too close to the shoulder may be removed by the provincial highways department.

“It is important that both motorists and producers salvaging ditch hay near our roads be aware of each other and drive with due care and attention,” Elhard said.

Interested farmers can contact their local highways office for more information.

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