Mowing Ditches

Fall is officially here with cold winds and dormant grasses.  Tis the season to… well, I’ll let you decide.

What do you notice about this picture?


That the neighbor moved cows down the road and you should slow down before you go over the next hill (and run into 300 cow’s behinds).  The crumpled tumbleweed that blew roundly into the road before 600 hooves crushed it.  What about the ditches?  What- ditches are ditches you say?

Not so in the Sandhills.  There is actually a statute that requires all landowners to mow their ditches.  We don’t like ditches with long hair, I mean stems.

Next picture, please.


So clean and tidy after a good haircut, I mean mowing.  No Hippy Road Ditches Here! 

The short grass helps prevent wildfires.  When sparks fly from under tires (or cigarettes-my pet peeve) the embers can burst into a destructive fire with tall, dry grass as kindling.  In the winter, large snow drifts will pile up over the narrow country road if grass is left standing.

Road ditches are hard on tractor and mowers.  The gravel dulls the sickles and plugs gears.  Usually there is no real slope to ditches, so your bar is wedged up at a weird angle.

Take notice next time you travel a country road.  Do the ditches have ponytails or are they clean shaven?

Categories: Ranching in the Sandhills | Leave a comment

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