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MoDOT streamlines hay movement for drought relief to Missouri farmers and ranchers

Posted on Tuesday, August 7, 2018 at 2:01 pm

Severe drought conditions through much of the state have prompted the Missouri Department of Transportation to offer a special overwidth hauling permit to help farmers and ranchers move hay as needed. Loads must be of legal height, length and weight. Permits can be requested via phone and will, in most cases, be issued within minutes via fax or email. The $32 permit fee will be waived through Oct. 31, 2018.

Before hauling, drivers must apply for the special overwidth hauling permit for loads that exceed eight feet and six inches in width, and map their route to avoid work zones, bridges and other areas that have weight, narrow lane or height restrictions. This information, as well as a special bridge and height restriction view, is available on the MoDOT Traveler Information Map at modot.org.

“Missouri’s agriculture community thrives when neighbors and rural communities rely on one another, and that is exactly the support this waiver will encourage,” Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn said. “We sincerely thank Governor Parson, as well as the Departments of Natural Resources and Transportation, for their continued support of farmers and ranchers during this extensive drought season.”

MoDOT’s waiver and special overwidth permit allows drivers in Missouri to:

  • Obtain the permit at no cost,
  • Haul hay loads of up to 12 feet and 4 inches in width,
  • Move hay during holiday periods and at night. At night, or when visibility is less than 500 feet, drivers must use a reflective, oversized load sign and clearance lights instead of the normal flags required at the edges of the load.

Drivers must adhere to all permit requirements, such as using proper signing and lighting and stopping at weigh stations. Drivers should also be advised that most of the southeastern United States is currently under a quarantine zone for imported fire ants, which can be easily spread through the movement of hay. Farmers and ranchers who believe they have received fire ants in a shipment of hay should call their local University of Missouri Extension agent as soon as possible.

To obtain a permit, hay haulers should call MoDOT’s Motor Carrier Services office at 1-800-877-8499 to report the year, make, license plate number and vehicle identification number (VIN) of the power unit and provide the farm business name and address. MoDOT permits cover movement within Missouri only and are required for each truck.

More resources and information about drought conditions, as well as a directory for producers needing to buy and sell hay, are available online at dnr.mo.gov and agriculture.mo.gov.