PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota Department of Transportation is asking farmers and ranchers to follow deadlines for removing processed hay from highway ditches.

State regulations require that hay be removed from the highway right of way within 30 days of being processed, but no later than Oct. 1.

Department officials say removing hay bales from along highways is important for the safety of motorists. The bales can be a hazard for vehicles forced to leave the road and can sometimes restrict a driver's view.

Hay left in road ditches late in the year can also cause snowdrifts across the highway.

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