Hay and Ditch Mowing

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Hay and Ditch Mowing – Provincial Highways

Producers can once again take advantage of free hay in Saskatchewan’s provincial highway ditches.

Hay can be salvaged any time during the spring or summer months. Before and including July 8, landowners or lessees nearest/adjacent to the ditch have the first option to cut or bale material, but after that day anyone can cut and bale without permission from the property-owner, as long as no salvage operations have already begun. It is recommended that participants contact their local ministry office to provide contact information and limits on where they are salvaging hay to avoid disputes.

Hay must be cut at a uniform height in ditches and bales must be placed at least eight metres away from the shoulder of the highway. Bales must be removed by August 8, otherwise they may be subject to removal and disposal by the ministry. After August 8, bales must be removed immediately following haying operations. The ministry may also remove and dispose of hay bales in locations deemed unsafe for drivers.

Ditch Mowing – Provincial Highways

The ministry is working on its annual early mowing program along high traffic volume highways, which begins June 7 and will continue until July 15. Contractors cut a four-metre wide swath along shoulders adjacent to Highways 1, 7, 11, 16 and 39, along with portions of Highways 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9,  and 10. During this time, mowing may be completed near some highway intersections and interchanges, railway crossings and tourism facilities.

Regular ditch mowing will occur along all four-lane highways between July 15 and the fall months. A four-metre-wide strip will be mowed adjacent to the other highways with additional mowing as required to ensure visibility and weed control. Progress is weather dependent.

Key Dates – Provincial Highways

June 7 – July 15: Mowing includes a four-metre shoulder cut adjacent to the road. Highways 1, 7, 11, 16 and 39, along with portions of Highways 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 10. Some highway intersections may receive a full ditch cut to ensure good sightlines.

July 8: Prior to and including this date, a landowner or lessee nearest to a highway ditch has the first option to cut or bale hay. After this date, anyone may cut and bale hay or grass in a highway ditch without getting the permission of the adjacent landowner.

July 15 – Oct. 15: Contractors begin mowing the width of ditches along all four-lane highways. All other highways get a four-metre cut adjacent to the highway shoulder.

August 8: all hay bales must be removed from ditches or they may be removed and disposed of at the ministry’s discretion.


Hay and Ditch Mowing – Municipal Roads

Hay located in the right-of-way area along municipal roads will be available for salvage by farmers and ranchers.

  1. The adjacent land owner has first option on the hay. Other persons must contact the adjacent landowner to salvage hay before July 8
  2. After July 8, any person may salvage hay without permission of the adjacent landowner, provided that the adjacent landowner has not begun salvage operations
  3. The right -of-way must be left neat in appearance
  4. All bales must be removed by August 15th
  5. Mowing may take place prior to July 8 in certain areas. All landowners who wish to salvage hay should notify the R.M. office to ensure that the R.M. does not cut their ditches before they have had an opportunity to salvage it.
  6. Any adjacent landowner may be permitted to mow the ditch right of way adjacent to his land during the season however he must obtain approval 1st by the Manager of Public Works to ensure that the roadway has not been dedicated for hay salvage.

If approval is granted to mow by the Manager of Public Works the R.M. of Sherwood will reimburse the landowner a total of $30/mile to mow the road ditch adjacent his land for a minimum width of 15’ from the shoulder. If the landowner owns both sides of the roadway he may be permitted to mow both ditches and will be paid $60/mile upon approval. Grass mowing shall be done going with the traffic not against, and tractors shall have amber flashing lights and a rotating beacon on at all times.

Please click here, for the RM’s policy for hay and ditch mowing municipal roads. Also, please click here, to see Bylaw No. 03-91 – To Establish a Haying Policy.

Permission to Cut Hay in Road Allowance Application