Harvesting of hay on highway right-of-way has received attention by state highway departments recently. Several states have already implemented such a program. However, concern has been expressed over traffic safety, lead poisoning, economic and other issues. This report examines the pros and cons of such a program including the current practices of the state highway departments. Various aspects considered include legal aspect, geographic condition, traffic safety, economic benefit, contamination of hay, and aesthetic and environmental concerns. A laboratory experiment conducted with randomly selected samples of forage from highway right-of-way in Indiana indicated that the concentration of lead, nickel, cadmium and zinc in the forage is below toxic level concerns. In particular, the overall mean concentration level of lead obtained in this study was approximately 18 ppm, well below the concern level for livestock consuming roadside hay. An economic analysis conducted in the present study indicated that, in general, a combination of above-average yields (greater than 1.5 tons per acre) and above-average hay prices (greater than $40 per ton) are required for the hay harvesting program to break-even. (Author)

  • Corporate Authors:

    Purdue University/Indiana Department of Transportation JHRP

    Purdue University, School of Civil Engineering
    West Lafayette, IN  United States  47907-1284
  • Authors:
    • Sinha, K C
    • Johnson, K D
    • Cherney, J H
    • Petritz, D C
    • Hu, K
    • Mullen, J A
    • Jacobs, W
  • Publication Date: 1984-5

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 50 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00389046
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: JHRP-84-6 Final Rpt., HS-037 508
  • Files: HSL, TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Oct 30 1985 12:00AM