The hay salvage and mowing program provides:
- free hay to farmers
- a neat appearance
- improved visibility
- better control of brush and harmful weed growth
- snow storage in ditches during the winter months
Hay can be salvaged any time during the spring or summer months.
Hay must be cut at a uniform height in ditches. Bales must be placed at least eight metres away from the shoulder of the highway.
As safety is the number one priority, the Ministry of Highways may remove and dispose of hay bales if locations are deemed unsafe for drivers.
Participant should contact their local ministry office to provide contact information and limits on where they are salvaging hay. This will help to avoid disputes and better coordinate with other activities that may be happening within the highway ditch, including ditch mowing by contractors and others.
Key Dates for Hay Salvage
- July 8: Prior to and including this day, a landowner or lessee nearest to a highway ditch has the first opportunity to cut or bale hay. After this day, anyone may cut and bale hay in a highway ditch without permission of the adjacent landowner or lessee.
- After July 8: Cut and bale is a first come, first serve basis. After this day, the nearest landowner's permission is not required. Cutting and baling should not be initiated, if a mowing contractor is mowing near the area.
- August 8: All hay bales must be removed from ditches or they may be removed and disposed of at the discretion of the Ministry of Highways.
- After August 8: Bales must be removed.
Ditch mowing happens from June to the end of Fall every year.
The ministry contracts out the work for the annual mowing program. Early mowing takes place in June and July where contractors cut a four-metre wide strip on heavily travelled primary and secondary highways.
Regular ditch mowing is done later in the season from mid-July to the end of Fall, with all four-lane highways receiving a full-width cut. High volume two-lane highways will receive a twelve-metre cut. Secondary highways will receive an eight-metre cut. A four-metre wide strip will be mowed adjacent to the other highways with additional mowing as required to ensure visibility and weed control. Mowing may also be done near some highway intersections, interchanges, railway crossings and tourism facilities.
Mowing progress is dependent on weather and contractor schedules.
Key Dates for Ditch Mowing
- June 7 – July 15:
- In the northern portion of the province, mowing includes a four-metre shoulder cut adjacent to the road on high-traffic two-lane, four-lane and secondary highways. Some highway intersections may receive a full ditch cut to ensure good sightlines.
- In the central and southern portion of the province, mowing includes a four-metre shoulder cut adjacent to the road on high-traffic two-lane and four-lane highways. Some highway intersections may receive a full ditch cut to ensure good sightlines.
- Mowing will not be completed in the southwest and west central areas to allow additional time for producers to salvage hay in anticipation of below normal moisture conditions.
- July 16 – End of Fall:
- In the northern portion of the province, contractors begin mowing the width of ditches along all four-lane highways. High traffic two-lane highways will receive a twelve-metre cut. Secondary highways will receive an eight-metre cut. All other highways get a four-metre cut.
- August 15 – End of Fall:
- In the central and southern portion of the province, contractors begin mowing the width of ditches along all four-lane highways. High traffic two-lane highways will receive a twelve-metre cut. Secondary highways will receive an eight-metre cut. All other highways get a four-metre cut.
Download our handy Ditch Mowing Factsheet for more information.
For additional information or to provide contact information and limits of hay salvage operations, please contact the district office in your area:
303 - 350 Cheadle Street West
Swift Current, SK S9H 4G3
Box 457, Highway 2 South
Moose Jaw, SK S6H 4P1
18 Souris Avenue North West
Weyburn, SK S4H 3M7
502 - 114th Street
North Battleford, SK S9A 2M6
126 - 105th Street East
Saskatoon, SK S7N 1Z3
304 - 120 Smith Street East
Yorkton, SK S3N 3V3
Box 1350, 212 1st Street East
Meadow Lake, SK S9X 1Z1
Box 3003, 81 North Industrial Drive
Prince Albert, SK S6V 6G1
Box 597, 1328 La Ronge Avenue
La Ronge, SK S0J 1L0