MnDOT Encourages Landowners To Help Create A “Living Snow Fence”
As farmers are preparing for harvest they are asked by the Minnesota Department of Transportation to consider leaving just a few rows of corn to help control snow blowing on roads in the winter.
MnDOT pays farmers to leave standing corn rows, hay bales or silage bags to control drifting snow and improve visibility on the state roads.
Farmers are compensated per acre of standing corn rows or per lineal foot for strategically stacked bales or silage bags.
A standard corn row treatment is about a quarter of a mile long and one acre in size, with 12 rows of corn left standing which would amount to $1,000 per acre.
According to a press release, “Standing corn rows provide a unique opportunity to use a resource already being grown adjacent to our highways to provide blowing snow control,” said Dan Gullickson, MnDOT’s snow control program coordinator. “They help MnDOT quickly deliver snow control treatments while reducing the state’s snow and ice removal costs.”
In a recent survey, conducted by the University of Minnesota Extension, farmers who participated in MnDOT’s standing corn row program were asked why they took part in the program. In many cases participants recognized that blowing snow was a problem on their roads in the winter and saw the benefits of the program. Respondents often mentioned that they felt good about doing something that helped their community by providing a “safe zone” on the highways along their fields.
If interested contact the local MnDOT district office and a signed agreement will be set up in less than two weeks. Local contact information can be found at www.mndot.gov.