Severe weather throughout Missouri and surrounding states has prompted a special hauling permit to help farmers move hay as needed for livestock. The permit will allow for the movement of larger loads through Dec. 31 of this year.
At the Department of Agriculture's request, the Missouri Department of Transportation is waiving the fee for blanket oversize permits to haul wide loads of hay. The fee is waived through Dec. 31 on loads up to 12 feet, four inches wide, that are of legal height, length and weight.
In addition to the savings of up to $64, the waiver will allow hay movements to take place over holidays and at night, a practice not normally allowed. At night, or when visibility is less than 500 feet, drivers must use a reflective, oversized load sign and clearance lights instead of flags at the edges of their loads.
"We appreciate MoDOT's continued cooperation and support of Missouri's agriculture industry throughout these severe conditions," said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler. "Many farmers are facing challenges as a result of the severe weather Missouri and other states have experienced during the past few months. Waiving the permit fee for producers and haulers moving hay will certainly help farmers and hopefully help keep them doing what they do best for our state."
Because many highways are under repair and might have narrow lanes, drivers are expected to review their route for work zone restrictions before beginning their trip. They must adhere to all other permit requirements, such as proper signing and lighting, and they must stop at weigh stations.
Farmers should call MoDOT's Motor Carrier Services office at 1-800-877-8499 to report the year, make and license plate number of their power unit and provide their business name and address. Motor Carrier Services will then issue the permits by fax or email.
Those interested in purchasing or selling hay can access the Department of Agriculture's Missouri Hay Directory at http://mda.mo.gov/abd/haydirectory/.