Fairfield Ledger
http://fairfield-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1168036

Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 31, 2014
AGRICULTURE

Permit available to harvest roadside hay

Apr 16, 2014

AMES — The Iowa Department of Transporation is now taking applications from landowners and others interested in obtaining permits to harvest hay from state highway roadsides.

Iowa’s roadsides provide many benefits, including the harvesting of hay. Each year, landowners and others can apply for a permit to harvest hay from highway roadsides.

Safety of motorist and of those working on roadsides is a key reason the IDOT requires permits to access or perform any type of work in the state highway roadsides.

Working in a roadside comes with its own set of dangers, including visibility to passing motorists and traffic control. When submitting an application, IDOT staff will go over the safety hazards and how to handle them. The staff also will help determine what traffic control might be needed.

In addition to the IDOT’s sign off, some permits also might require the signature of the landowner, if the applicant does not own the land next to the roadside where he wants to harvest.

Although landowners and others can obtain permits now, mowing or haying roadsides is not allowed until July 15 per Iowa Code. This allows for the protection of bird habitat during the nesting season. The IDOT has set two periods for harvesting grass within the state-maintained highway roadsides. Only one cutting per year is allowed so grasses can recover before winter.

The seasons for harvesting are:

• July 15 to Sept. 1 for cool-season grasses and forage legumes, such as smooth brome, tall fescue, perennial ryegrass, alfalfa and bird’s-foot trefoil.

• July 15 to Aug. 15 for areas containing warm-season native grasses, such as switchgrass, big bluestem, little bluestem, Indian grass, sideoats grama and Canada wildrye.

The Harvesting and Mowing Permit Application is available locally from the District 5 office in Fairfield by contacting Brenda Hadley at 866-291-9121 or brenda.hadley@dot.iowa.gov or online at https://forms.iowadot.gov/FormsMgt/External/810050.pdf.

The application covers three types of operations: mowing only; harvesting hay; or harvesting plant material other than hay.

See more information at www.news.iowadot.gov/newsandinfo/2014/04/permit-available-to-harvest-hay-in-iowa-dot-highway-roadsides-.html#sthash.dcDHGgm1.dpuf.

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