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Iowa DOT and Local Landowners Partner for Snow Fences

Posted: Friday, November 24th, 2017 at 6:20 am
Author: KCII News - Sam McIntosh

Have you ever thought rows of unharvested corn could be your savior in the wintertime?

In a partnership between the Iowa Department of Transportation and local landowners, these corn rows are called “snow fences.” There are different types of snow fences that are used alongside Iowa highways to help keep blowing snow from drifting onto the roadway and to help improve visibility for drivers.

Iowa DOT Winter Operations Administrator Craig Bargfrede says public safety is the number one concern of the snow fence program, but notes other benefits for farmers, “It’s a habitat for wildlife. So standing corn out there can provide that habitat area for wildlife during the winter. It helps reduce blowing, drifting, soil erosion. It captures the snow so increased soil moisture for the landowner come spring time. So there are a number of benefits.”

Bargfrede says snow fences help the DOT get roads back to a near-normal driving condition much faster with less resources. Snow hasn’t been a problem yet for Washington County, but DOT employees are already reaching out to landowners to consider the snow fence program before next year’s crop planting begins. Area landowners can contact the Washington County DOT Maintenance Garage about the snow fence program by calling 319-653-3233.