Living snow fences prevent or minimize the drifting of snow on roads, increase driver safety and visibility and reduce the need for plowing. This saves money through reduced fuel and salt usage, and also reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Living natural snow fences are a low-cost and environmentally sustainable option that produce the same results as manufactured fencing.
The use of corn crops (pending crop rotation) is an excellent option. Grey County is looking for farmers and landowners who are interested in creating living snow fences along roads where drifting is common. We recognize the use of corn crops could be deemed as a win-win scenario. Farmers are paid for the cost of the crops remaining in the field, and the County gets a snow fence at a much lower cost than the manufactured variety.
Interested farmers can enter into a contract with the County. To participate, farmers must own property along a Grey County Road and are required to leave a minimum of 12 rows of corn crop standing throughout the winter season. Grey County will pay a fair market value for the crop remaining in the field.
The following factors were used in determining an appropriate "fair market value"
• Forecasted December corn futures price per bushel;
• Canadian US dollar exchange rate;
• Expected yield in Grey County (bushel/acre) and
• Standard row separation of 30 inches.
Farmers that participate in the program will be providing a public service that assists Transportation Services staff in keeping the roads safer for the traveling public and saves money.
How to apply to the snow fence program
If you are interested in participating in the living snow fence program, contact Grey County by:
Where should a snow fence go?
Barrier locations are strategically chosen and designed to trap snow as it blows across fields before it can reach the road. Snow fences force wind to go over and through the fence, causing the wind to lose energy and velocity. The snow particles suspended in the fast-moving air settle as the speed slows. This forms a drift adjacent the snow fence rather than on the road. The height of the fence determines how much snow a fence can trap, and the distance installed from the road.