Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey is asking the governor and other state officials to consider the possibility of opening up state land for haying and grazing. In the letter, Northey says the move could help livestock producers that are struggling with record feed prices or lost hay to flooding. Dustin Vande Hoef is a spokesperson for Northey.
"We understand this is probably not going to solve all the problems…but we thought maybe there are ways to open state lands to help get us through this year since it’s been such a challenging spring and early summer," Vande Hoef said.
The state land might involve ditches and medians along Iowa highways and interstates. Vande Hoef says there are obvious safety issues to consider, but if possible, the idea could get some more feed to Iowa livestock producers. Northey did not request a specific amount of land. His letter was sent to the Governor, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Iowa Department of Transportation.