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Get farmers to use crops for windbreaks

Published: Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

As someone who lives in northern Illinois, I share a common concern with everyone in the snow belt having a snowy winter – blowing and drifting snow on our roadways.

If not for constant plowing, many roads would be impassible. The road crews are putting in long (and expensive) hours keeping the roads passable and reasonably safe.  

The main reason there has been such heavy drifting in these rural areas is lack of hedgerows or other vegetation to stop the drifting. Farmers plant right to the road easement to maximize crop yield.

The elimination of natural windbreaks will get you a little more money, but it doesn’t make winter travel easier or safer for anybody, including the farmers and their families.

I propose that to improve winter safety and reduce maintenance costs, that corn farmers leave three rows of corn 40 feet back from roadways to act as natural windbreaks.

Because we all pay taxes to pay for road maintenance, the little monetary loss would be offset by not having our taxes raised or from having a family member injured because of snowdrifts. Also, any monetary loss could be deducted as a “charitable contribution” on their taxes.

So, write your representatives, state and federal, to get this common-sense law enacted and stop the drifting. And how about calling this campaign, “Three for the Road”?

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