Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Mowing and Haying

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

I own the land near the right of way, why can’t I bale it?

State law requires that to bale hay in the right of way a person has a permit. In an effort to give landowners first opportunity to mow the land adjacent to their property, the application process starts earlier than for everyone else. Landowners who want to mow on right of way adjacent to their property need to make sure MnDOT has received their permit application before the end of February of the year they wish to mow.

How do I get a permit to bale hay?

Fill out an application and return to MnDOT. You can find the form here.
Landowners who want to mow on right of way adjacent to their property should make sure their permit application is received by MnDOT before the last day of February for first consideration. Beginning March 1st, all others may apply for permits for any portion of the state right of way.

Why can’t I bale hay into large round bales?

Large round hay bales are heavy and can be a significant hazard to vehicles that might run into the ditch.

How does MnDOT define a permit?

MnDOT defines permits in two ways. The Long Form Permits are used for permanent installations of facilities within MnDOT right of Way and Miscellaneous Permits are used for temporary installations or uses within MnDOT right of way.  According to MnDOT’s databases, since 1988 MnDOT has issued 84,358 Long Form permits and 54,965 of these permits.

What type of permit does mowing require?

To mow or Hay within MnDOT right of way, an individual will need to apply for a miscellaneous permit identified as a Mowing/Haying permit application. Other types of miscellaneous permits issued by MnDOT include permits for:

  • Animal Waste pipelines
  • Community gardens
  • Special events (parades)
  • Utility maintenance (work on existing facilities installed using a long form permit)
  • Miscellaneous work within the right of way  

Does MnDOT use require any other permits?

MnDOT does issue permits for several other purposes including:

  • Access to or over right of way
  • Drainage through right of way
  • Railbank
  • Temporary Lease Agreements (Monitoring Wells with MnDOT right of way)

How many Mowing/Haying permits does MnDOT issue each year?

From July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017, MnDOT received 363 Mowing/Haying permit applications. It issued 330 permits and denied two. There were 31 permits pending consideration on June 30th. Over the last three fiscal years, MnDOT has issued an average of 140 Mowing/Haying permits. The oldest mowing permit was issued in 1988. MnDOT has issued 490 mowing permits since 2006 indicating the majority of permits issued have been in the most recent fiscal year.

How many permits does MnDOT issue overall?

Over the last three fiscal years, MnDOT on average receives 4,300 permit applications and denies a total of 20 permit applications. The averages for those permits issued included:

  • Long Form Permits: 1,500
  • Miscellaneous Permits: 2,240
  • Access Permits: 340
  • Drainage Permits: 140
  • Railbank Permits: 40 permits
  • Temp. License Agreements: 20