MANKATO, Minn. - In an effort to improve winter driving conditions and reduce plowing, Mn/DOT will pay $3.30 per bushel to farmers who are willing to leave at least eight rows of corn stalks standing over the winter in snowdrift areas.
Mn/DOT is looking for farmers with fields to the north and west of state highways where there is a demonstrated drifting problem in the windblown maintenance area of southwestern and south central Minnesota. The Mankato and Windom Mn/DOT offices cover the following counties: Blue Earth, Brown, Cottonwood, Faribault, Jackson, LeSueur, Martin, Nicollet, Nobles, Rock, Sibley, Waseca and Watonwan.
Strategically placed standing corn rows improve driver visibility during "white out" conditions and improve road surface conditions through the elimination of snow drifts and blow ice. That helps Mn/DOT keep the roads safer for the traveling public and save money, especially with higher fuel costs.
During the winter of 2000-2001, University of Minnesota Agriculture study by Dr. Mark Seeley-Department of Soil, Water, and Climate found that the standing corn rows captured 9 tons of snow per lineal foot of standing corn.
Anyone interested in this program should contact the Mankato office at
1-800-657-3747 or the Windom office at 1-800-804-3295. The appropriate Mn/DOT maintenance supervisor will then contact the area farmer to make arrangements. For more information on living snow fences go to http://www.dot.state.mn.us/environment/livingsnowfence/.
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