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Road Management & Engineering Journal
Copyright © 1997 by TranSafety, Inc.
February 1, 1997
TranSafety, Inc.
(360) 683-6276
Fax: (360) 335-6402

FHWA Field Tests Anti-Icing in 15 States: New Winter Maintenance Methods Look Promising
Prewetting with Salt Brine for More Effective Roadway Deicing
Army Corps of Engineers "Pothole Primer" Is a Good Source Booklet

Highway Safety Publications Catalog. Articles on Road Engineering, Road Maintenance & Management, and Injury Litigation. Information and consulting for the Automobile and Road User, as well as for law professionals in accident investigations.
TranSafety's free consumer journal for automobile and road users, three subscription journals on road maintenance, engineering, and injury litigation, and highway safety publications catalog. See our free consumer journal for automobile and road users, three subscription journals on road maintenance, engineering, and injury litigation, and a highway safety publications catalog.

Iowa's Old-fashioned, Corny Snow Fences

What's just as effective as putting up a snow fence and about 75 percent less expensive? According to Bob Hadacek, a Maintenance Operations Assistant with the Iowa Department of Transportation in Forest City, the answer is corn--when a few rows of it stands all winter in roadside fields.

The Michigan Technology Transfer Center at Michigan Technology University reported on standing corn as a snow fence in the July/September issue of The Bridge (Vol. 9, No. 4). They called the article "Iowa's Standing Corn 'Snow Fence'" and adapted their information from the Iowa Transportation Center's February 1995 Iowa Transportation Reporter.

According to the article, several counties in northern Iowa contract with local farmers each year to purchase four to six rows of their corn for 50 cents over market price. The farmers agree to leave the corn standing next to the highway in areas where drifting snow and limited visibility are problems during winter storms. The corn is generally about 110 feet outside the road right-of-way. In the spring, local non-profit groups often pick the "snow fence."

Hadacek grew up on a farm, where his father kept snow off the lane by leaving standing corn each winter. He says the system also works well for the Iowa Department of Transportation, and it saves money. In addition, farmers appreciate not having highway maintenance crews trampling their fields to install and remove regular snow fences.

Copyright © 1997 by TranSafety, Inc.

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