So no one is frightened by what they think is some sort of terrorist attack, the Iowa D-O-T is letting Iowans know about its plan to use airplanes to seed several strips of land across the state in the coming weeks as part of an erosion control program. Ole Skaar, a D-O-T agronomist, says seeds for native grasses and wildflowers will be air-dropped along several highways statewide. He says they want to put the seed out now while the ground is frozen, so when it heats up, the seed will be sown like it is naturally. Last week, dozens of residents of an Illinois town called 9-1-1 after a military jet did several low passes. It turned out to be a National Guardsman showing off for his grandmother. Skaar says Iowans should not be concerned when they see the small, yellow “Ag Cat” bi-plane making passes over highways in the Hawkeye State. Skaar says the state’s been using this method since the mid 1960s. He says it’s a very safe way to get the seed down without tearing up the ground by using a lot of heavy equipment. He says sometimes the spring rains make it difficult to get ground equipment out to seed in time to have it ready for germination.At least eight strips of land will be seeded using the planes in the coming few weeks, including in: Bremer County, along U.S. 218 from 200th Street north to just north of 130th Street as part of the Plainfield Bypass project; Chickasaw County, along U.S. 63 from south of U.S. 18 north to the east fork of the Wapsi River; Dubuque County, along Iowa 32 in Dubuque from JFK Road north to U-S 52 as part of the northwest arterial project; Grundy and Hardin counties, along relocated U.S. 20 from U.S. 65 in Hardin County east to the Iowa 14 in Grundy County; Jasper and Marshall counties, along Iowa 330 from north of Jasper County Road F-17 to north of U.S. 30 in Marshall County; Polk and Jasper counties, along U.S. 65 from Polk County Road S-27 northeast to Jasper County Road F-17; Polk County, along relocated Iowa 5 from west of Interstate 35 east to Iowa 28; and in Warren County, along Iowa 5 from County Road S-23 southeast to just north of Pleasantville.
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