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Iowa DOT sees increased participation in standing corn snow fence program

Corn remains standing near the edge of a field in Benton County on Monday, Jan. 6, 2020. The Iowa Department of Transportation compensates farmers who participate in order to improve road conditions in open areas (Rebecca Varilek/KCRG)
Corn remains standing near the edge of a field in Benton County on Monday, Jan. 6, 2020. The Iowa Department of Transportation compensates farmers who participate in order to improve road conditions in open areas (Rebecca Varilek/KCRG)(KCRG)
Published: Jan. 6, 2020 at 11:08 PM CST
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More Iowa farmers are leaving crops in their fields on purpose to keep snow off of roads.

It's through the Iowa Department of Transportation's program where it will pay farmers to leave up these standing 'snow fences' at the edge of their fields. The snow fences are about 8 to twelve rows of corn deep.

The DOT says farmers kept up 80 miles of living snow fences this year. That's up from 75 miles last year and less than 60 miles the year before.

Craig Olson, a farmer in Benton County who utilizes the fence program, said it really does provide significant improvement for driving conditions in rural areas.

"The cornrows really make a difference. I had a neighbor that worked and got home around midnight every night. And he says 'when I go across your corn fields, I could see, and otherwise he couldn't see, so that was his comment to me on that," Craig Olson, a farmer in Benton County, said.

The state does hand-pick and pays the landowners for the corn that isn't harvested.

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