One mile of rural roadway is equivalent to about 8 acres of
cropland and, according to a study by the Iowa-based Soy
Transportation Coalition (www.soytransportation.org), thousands
of miles of under-used rural roads should be converted
to farmland - turning a costly liability into a productive asset.
The idea was prompted by the growing crisis in rural funding
to maintain roads and bridges. Farm associations and
commodity groups have been pressuring state legislators to
increase funding for rural infrastructure. The study pointed
out that there “simply is not enough funding to accommodate
all the needs in rural areas”. Taking under-used roads “off the
books” might go a long way to solving the problem.