Ames, Iowa — The recent cool weather we had served as a reminder that summer is about over and winter weather is on the way. Now’s the time to plan for winter weather, and the Iowa Department of Transportation is doing just that — and if you own farm ground along state highways, you may be able to help them.
They are asking farmers who have ground along state highways to leave some corn standing as a snow fence. Former northwest Iowan Craig Bargfrede, who is now the Winter Operations Administrator for the Iowa DOT in Ames tells us about the program.
(as said:) “This program has been around for many years. It’s been a very successful program really helps our local forces when they identify known trouble spot areas and they can work with the local farmers and leaving those corn rows to help trouble spots… help with the blowing and drifting snow and it really saves us a lot of time and resources. A little more background on that program for this year. We will be paying five dollars and fifty cents a bushel to the landowners that sign up for the program. So hopefully that’s a little bit extra incentive as compared to what the cash prices currently.”
Bargfrede tells us that the bonus is that not only will the DOT pay you for the value of the corn, but you can also still harvest it by hand in the fall or by hand or machine in the spring. Plus, Bargfrede says they now also work with farmers who place bales along the highway instead.
He tells us who to call if you think you have corn or could put bales on some ag land that might be helpful to the DOT.
(as said:) “The best way to get information on this program is to contact their local Iowa DOT garage. The garage staff at that location will then be able to explain in a bit more detail about the program. They are also the ones that will fill out the paperwork to sign up the farmer for the program. They will have to come out and obviously do some measuring to see the amount of corn that was left in the field. And so the best resource is our local garage staff in the area that you’re located in.”
Bargfrede says if you don’t know what garage to call or who to ask for, you can just call him at 515-290-2713 and he will help you get in touch with the person who handles the program at the local level.