New Wisconsin ag roads law supports manure culverts
Wisconsin’s new law providing 150 million dollars to improve agriculturally important local roads will allow towns to fund extra culverts farmers can use to run manure lines.
Tranel says the intent of the Agricultural Roads Improvement Program is to improve weight-restricted roads, and make them last longer, so funding manure culverts makes sense. “They would score very well with a lot of agricultural economic activity, and then the hose would obviously alleviate a lot of road trips and wear and tear on the road, so the intent would certainly be that that project would score very well on the grant application.”
Representative Travis Tranel was the primary author of the new law. He tells Brownfield, “We tried to rank very favorably projects that would eliminate repeated trips on roadways, so in your particular situation, you would probably be on a town road. It would probably be posted at least once a year, so therefore it would be eligible.”
Many farms pump manure from lagoons to fields through large hoses, which are dragged across fields while injecting manure into the soil as fertilizer. One of the benefits of this system is less truck traffic on roads.
Tranel says he and fellow legislators intentionally kept the application process simple to help get the money where it’s needed quickly. He is optimistic the Department of Transportation can be ready to fund grant applications within six months.