State asks landowners to help keep snow off local roads this winter

Published 7:39 am Thursday, September 21, 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation is asking farmers to consider leaving a few rows of standing corn to help control blowing and drifting snow on Minnesota roads this winter.

MnDOT pays farmers to leave standing corn rows, hay bales or silage bags to protect selected state roads. Farmers are compensated per acre for leaving standing corn rows and per lineal foot for strategically stacked bales or silage bags.

A typical standing corn row treatment is about a quarter of a mile long and one acre in size, with 12 rows of corn left standing. Average compensation to the landowner is about $1,000 per acre, according to a news release from MnDOT.

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“Living snow fences” can be designed and constructed to fit into individual land use and farming operations. Ears of corn are allowed to be harvested by families, clubs, organizations and church groups.

It takes less than two weeks to have a signed agreement between the farmer and the local MnDOT district office.

In a recent survey, conducted by the University of Minnesota Extension, many farmers who participated in the program said they recognized that blowing snow was a problem on their roads in the winter and saw the benefits of the program, the release said.