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a47mlb

Roadside haying

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Playing devil's advocate here.

I'll stop haying my roadsides when you stop mowing your lawn.

It's easy to regulate how other land owners manage their property but not so easy to take it.

You might argue the roadsides are public property as part of the road right-of-way. I couldn't disagree but then, I pay property taxes to the property line, which is located at the center of the roads that border my property. In addition, one side includes a railroad easement that is now a bicycle trail which has a much wider right-of-way. Add that to the wetlands that I can't do anything with and I bought and pay taxes on roughly 25 acres that I don't have a right to do anything with it aside from keeping others out. Of course except state highway crews or the owners of the bicycle trail and then if they feel like it they are free to encroach even further on my property with their heavy equipment, destroying my crops or disfiguring my property while maintaining their right-of-way.

Don't talk to me about the road ditch until you are willing to give up the public right-of-way and extended encroachment or at least offer me a tax break in exchange, thank you very much.

Bob

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For the record, I do not hay the road ditches that border my property.

I get a thorn in my side every time others feel the need to tell me how to manage my property all the while reaching into my pocket to take the taxes, not to mention the tresspassing. It gets on one's nerves and although I don't yet, I can fully understand why it is getting harder and harder for landowners to not post their property. Here in farming country I am not required to post my ag land and yet unless I do, it is apparently considered fair game. One of these days I will decide to approach one of these ignorant whatevers and see how they would feel about me borrowing their truck while they borrow my land.

Bob

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Bob, the law states that if you own the right of way, you can hay it anytime. So they are not telling you what to do with your land. They are just ASKING land owners to wait until the nesting season is over before taking the hay. It's the gov't owned ditches next to WMA's, WPA's, etc. that folks are stealing hay from before Aug 1 that is getting folks ticked. And if I stop mowing my lawn, the city is going to doit for me and charge me.

Speaking of paying taxes on stuff you have no control over, can you say Metrodome, new Twins/Gopher stadium, etc.. ;(

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there are guys out there that hay the ditches for miles around their property, even if they don't own the right of way. those are the folks that i have a problem with.

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... and with the price of hay, there are 'hay jockies' out there that come through on Fri afternoons and cut hay for miles in tractors that look like county rigs, so no one thinks twice about them. Then someone else comes through Sun and bails it up (steals) and heads off to sales barns and sells it for cash, and then their gone.

All this mostly because corn has gotten so high, and farmers are tilling up CRP to plant corn, so hay has gone through the roof. If you don't beleive me, go to your county office and see how many have re-enrolled in CRP.

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I have an issue with the guys baling the hay in big round bales and then leave them lay there in the ditch for awhile. Talk about a safety hazzard. I sure as heck don't want to hit one of them. I wonder who would be liable for damages.

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I have an issue with the guys baling the hay in big round bales and then leave them lay there in the ditch for awhile. Talk about a safety hazzard. I sure as heck don't want to hit one of them.
shouldn't you be driving on the road instead of the ditch ? smilesmile

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Bob, theres that old saying 'good fences make good neighbors'. If you're having problems with trespassers, especially if you border a public trail, you need to either fence it off or put out No Trespassing signs - or both. 98 out of 100 people will probably not trespass but its those other 2 that cause the aggravation, and will push that 'public' trail to the limit.

I spent close to $1000 getting a survey done on property that I had bought, just so that the boundary would be well defined, the seller tried to say '40 acres is 40 acres'. Not. I spent the money so I wouldn't have ANY conflict with my neighbors.

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I have an issue with the guys baling the hay in big round bales and then leave them lay there in the ditch for awhile. Talk about a safety hazzard. I sure as heck don't want to hit one of them. I wonder who would be liable for damages.

Many of the ditches here in SD are not hayed. You want to talk about a saftey hazard... You cant see deer, corners, ditch drop offs, culverts, etc. I dont know a whole lot about the issue and dont have much of an opinion on it, but this is one observation I have made in favor of haying.

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I honestly do understand the reluctance to accept haying roadsides but here in MN the state and county road maintenance would likely be cutting the roadsides if it wasn't for the farmers taking the hay. It is a safety hazard not to clip the grasses. The farmers that are taking the hay save the state and county governments money and you and I get a reduced risk of collisions with deer and even autos at intersections.

I suppose there is some trade-off. Personally, I haven't jumped on the wagon that believes there are that many pheasants using the road ditches for nesting purposes anyway. Just too much traffic.

Bob

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That could be. I'm surrounded by an 80 acre WMA and over 900 acres of WPA plus there are enough low draws that provide nesting cover not to mention the alfalfa ground.

My observations may not be well founded.

Bob

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IMO... If it is ok to be haying your own fields right now, then feel free to hay off the ditches as well. It pulls the "edge" back away from the road. Makes the deer easyer to see earlier and keeps everyone safer. If a few late nesters loose their nests.... so be it. Chances are they wouldn't have made it threw the winter anyhow. Or are we just worrying about haveing fewer birds for us to shoot???

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One area where I see most of the pheasant nests on my place is in my alfalfa. When I take my first cutting it is common to see hens with chicks running around. Most of the chicks are young enough that they can't fly but yet small enough they actually get under my sickle. After I pass I can look back and see them scurrying out from under the windrow chasing after mommy.

I have heard that there are programs available, or were, that compensate farmers for waiting until late July before taking the first cutting, supposedly to protect the young pheasants. Unfortunately, my hay is for our horses and when you let alfalfa mature that much it gets very stemmy and is very poor quality horse hay. It really isn't much for cattle feed either when it gets that mature because once the alfalfa blossoms it's food value begins to drop rapidly each day. By waiting another month it becomes pretty much worthless.

Since it appears that most of them seem to survive okay I am not too concerned. A couple days ago I was out for a walk around the perimeter of my 7 acre hay field and flushed two groups of at least a dozen each. Should be good hunting again this fall.

Bob

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I think your right about nesting in the alfalfa BobT. A guy I work with told me this week he talked to a farmer that when he made his first cutting of alfalfa that he cut over NINE pheasant nests. He got off the tractor and looked at every one of them when the hen jumped up at the last minute. Said there were 10-12 eggs in every nest. Too bad it happens but it does. The guy I was talking to didn't know how big the alfalfa field was but I'm assuming it had to be fairly large to have that many nests. I also saw a brood of pheasants last evening that had at least a dozen in it and maybe more. Nice to see.

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Playing devil's advocate here.

You might argue the roadsides are public property as part of the road right-of-way. I couldn't disagree but then, I pay property taxes to the property line, which is located at the center of the roads that border my property. In addition, one side includes a railroad easement that is now a bicycle trail which has a much wider right-of-way. Add that to the wetlands that I can't do anything with and I bought and pay taxes on roughly 25 acres that I don't have a right to do anything with it aside from keeping others out. Of course except state highway crews or the owners of the bicycle trail and then if they feel like it they are free to encroach even further on my property with their heavy equipment, destroying my crops or disfiguring my property while maintaining their right-of-way.

Don't talk to me about the road ditch until you are willing to give up the public right-of-way and extended encroachment or at least offer me a tax break in exchange, thank you very much.

Bob

Did you recieve payment for said right of way? If so, you then gave up the property. I work highway contruction and often run into landowners who have "sellers remorse" after realizing what they gave up to the smooth talking aquisition agents. Possibly the previous owner signed the agreement, pocketed the cash, and then sold to you? Another common scenario I run into.

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You are correct. I did purchase the land with the right-of-way for both the roads and the railroad in tact and yes I realized that at the time of purchase. Of course that doesn't negate the fact that I do pay taxes as is anyway so all those that hunt on my property should be thankful for my tax dollars.

I would bet that if I dug back far enough I might learn that the railroad and highway rights-of-way were purchased and paid up front to some previous owner.

But then since both the road and the railroad parallel each other and precisely follow my property lines I'm guessing that either or both may have been put in using seized right-of-way (eminent domain).

The point is that society too often dictates to private owners what they can or can not do with their own property even though it may not be to protect the property rights of others. I don't mind the wetland laws or the road ditch rules for ATVs and I'm not complaining but now I'm hearing someone complain about the possibility that I may decide the cut the hay on land I own and pay taxes for. I imagine sooner or later society will tell me that I can't cut the road right-of-way anymore if I want to or perhaps even need to in order to support my livestock.

Bob

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Gonna have to go back a long ways to find the railroad "easement" if you ever find it. RR owned a good chunk of the state at one time and pretty much are top dog as far as ROW is concerned. Have taken classes to work on RR property as a highway contractor. Almost every class poses the question; how many times do you think the RR crosses a road? Answer is 0. The roads cross their RR ROW.

Grey area for me here that maybe you can answer. Say you have x acres and the county/state puts a road down your property line or worse through it. Do you still pay taxes on x acres or is it x-ROW now consumed by the road? I have always assumed (you know what that leads to) it is the latter but you have experience. Township roads are a whole different matter. Don't have any experience in this area of our companies work but understand that the land does not exchange hands.

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Recently the county decided to widen a road nearby. It doesn't border my property but I do recall the landowners being asked to sign documents that would provide a variance to the county. I don't know what would have happened if someone denied the variance though. One of the parties involved was our church in which I am an officer. To my knowledge there were no changes in the tax code. I wonder if our taxes increased due to some assessments. I don't recall.

In a personal situation, the township wanted to do some work on their road that borders one side of my property and they too approached me for a variance. They destroyed some of my crops but they did their best to keep it to a minimum, which I appreciated. I believe I could have petitioned the township for compensation but you know how that goes. It would be more work than it was worth.

Bob

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Bryce, I have a 40 that is bordered on two sides by gravel roads. When I looked thru the abstract there were easements and variances that gave the county and township the right to put the road in and do just about anything to maintain the road. And I still pay taxes on 40 acres even thought its not a true 40 anymore because the center of the road runs down the property lines.

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