One transportation department will pay producers $5.50 per bushel
By Diego Flammini
Some states are looking for corn producers to consider participating in a winter program.
The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) is asking farmers who have fields along state or U.S. highways to take part in the Standing Corn Snow Fence Program.
Growers are being asked to leave rows of corn unharvested to act as a fence to prevent snow from blowing and drifting across the road, creating safer routes for motorists.
“This year especially, we’re aware that there may be some corn that is left in the field,” Craig Bargfrede, winter operations administrator with the Iowa DOT, said in a statement. “We’d like to partner with those farmers to utilize the corn as snow fence and reimburse them for that.”
Participating producers could earn a little more than market prices.
The DOT will pay contracted producers $5.50 per bushel for leaving between six and 24 rows standing. This is about $2 higher per bushel than average state corn prices at the beginning of August.
Farmers with hay bales can also earn extra money by using the bales as a snow fence.
The DOT will pay landowners $1 per linear foot for placing round bales to stop blowing or drifting snow.
Minnesota is another state that rewards farmers for using standing corn to help create safer roadways during the winter.
In 2018, the state transportation department offered to pay farmers up to $1,000 per acre of unharvested corn.
Farmers in Illinois, New York and Wisconsin can also receive compensation for using corn rows as a living snow fence.
Farms.com has reached out to industry groups for comment.