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Mn/DOT urges farmers to use safe practices when planting

Monday, July 6th, 2009 at 8:52 am

BAXTER, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation reminds farmers that planting crops within rights of way is illegal because as crops grow higher and fuller they can block motorists’ vision and create other safety problems.

State law also prohibits plowing and tilling in rights of way, including driving lanes, shoulders, ditches and sight corners at intersections.

Steve Lund, Mn/DOT’s state maintenance engineer, encourages individuals to contact the local Mn/DOT office for restrictions and prohibitions at www.dot.state.mn.us/information/districts.html.

“Our roadway regulation inspectors are knowledgeable and willing to help landowners adopt practices that enhance safety and the environment,” Lund said. “The goal of these restrictions is to ensure safety and to protect roadside environments.”

The department also advises that mowing and haying on rights of way may require a permit.

“Our roadways present many unique characteristics,” Lund said. “This requires us to consider farmers’ mowing and haying rights on a case-by-case basis.”

A deposit on a permit may be required and will be returned when all work has been completed in accordance with the provisions of the permit.

Permits for locations where mowing is allowed are distributed on a first-come, first- served basis.

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