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MnDOT reminds farmers to use safe practices when planting, mowing crops in highway rights of way

DETROIT LAKES, 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.

"Our roadway regulation inspectors are knowledgeable and willing to help landowners adopt practices that enhance safety and the environment," said Steve Lund, MnDOT's state maintenance engineer. "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.

"Roadside conditions and right-of-way status varies," 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.

For further information regarding roadway regulations, or assistance in identifying right-of-way boundaries on a state or interstate highway in west central Minnesota, contact Jim Utecht, 218-846-7950 or by email,