The ditches and road allowances in the Humboldt area and across the province will soon get an annual cropping as the summer hay and salvage program gets underway. As of July 8, anyone can cut and bale along these areas, provided salvaging hasn’t already begun. 

"The annual hay salvage and mowing program provides many benefits by taking into account the needs of area landowners, producers and motorists," Minister Jeremy Cockrill said. "The hay salvage and mowing program strikes a balance by combining the needs of different groups and delivering a cost-effective program."

The greatest incentive for ditch mowing is to harvest the hay and fodder, but there are other benefits as well. The Ministry of Highways release notes that it optimizes snow storage in ditches which reduces drifting on the road surface during the winter. At the same time, it provides a neat appearance improving visibility and control of brush and noxious weed growth.

Approximately 41,000 hectares of available hayland were tendered this year to contractors. The first cut began last month and focused on the northern region.  The second cut of mowing will begin as early as July 15. Mowing in the west central and southwest regions including Swift Current and North Battleford Districts begins August 15. This allows additional time to salvage hay in anticipation of below normal moisture conditions.