MnDOT adopts new mowing and hay baling standard and permit

Published 9:43 am Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Minnesota Department of Transportation urges those who want to mow or bale hay on state right of way — land along Minnesota’s state roadways — to put in their permit applications early next year, according to a press release.

MnDOT recently adopted a statewide standard for mowing and baling in the right of way and has developed a new permit form. State law requires that MnDOT manage right of way mowing, which includes cutting in advance of baling. And, by state law, it is a misdemeanor to mow on state highway right of way without a permit.

“Having local landowners mow, and bale hay if they choose, in the right of way can be mutually beneficial,” said Steve Lund, MnDOT’s state maintenance engineer. “But we want to ensure that it is done at the right time of year to make sure we are protecting habitat for wildlife and pollinators. And we want to ensure that those who mow and harvest hay are doing so safely.”

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The new permit provides information on when and where mowing and baling can occur, safety measures required and how long baled hay can be left in the right of way. Large round hay bales are heavy and can be a significant hazard to vehicles that might run into the ditch.

Landowners who want to mow on right of way adjacent to their property need to apply for a permit before the end of January. On Feb. 1, all others may apply for permits to mow on state right of way. MnDOT will accept, review and approve permits on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The new permit can be found at