Pierre — The South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) requests the cooperation of all farmers and ranchers in removing processed hay from the highway right-of-way.
State regulations require that hay be removed from the right-of-way within 30 days of being processed, but no later than October 1st. Hay remaining in highway ditches after Oct. 1 is deemed illegal. Any person wishing to claim ownership of illegal bales must obtain a permit from the South Dakota Department of Transportation. Those permits are issued on a first-come first-served basis and allow permit holders to take ownership of any illegal hay bale.
Permits are available at Department of Transportation area offices in the following communities: Aberdeen, Belle Fourche, Custer, Huron, Mitchell, Mobridge, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Watertown, Winner, and Yankton.
The Department of Transportation will remove or authorize the removal of any hay bales remaining in the public right-of-way after Oct. 31.
Hay removal from highway right-of-way is done as a safety precaution. Hay bales and hay stacks can be a safety hazard for vehicles forced to leave the road and, in some cases, can restrict a driver's sight distance. Hay left in the road ditches late in the year can also cause snowdrifts across the highway.
For more information, contact Jason Humphrey, Construction and Maintenance Engineer at (605) 773-4391.