AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials are controlling roadside erosion across the state.

The Iowa Department of Transportation has hired aviation contractors to perform aerial seeding and fertilizing along the state's highways. They plan to start as soon as weather permits.

Aircraft will make several passes over the same area when applying the seed, which is tan-colored and lightweight. The fertilizer is white and in a granular form. Brief landings and takeoffs will happen from local airports, landing strips and roads with low traffic volumes.

Several seeding projects are scheduled to be completed in February and March.

Iowa DOT says it has used this method for years because it saves money. The seed is best applied in the late winter months because it will germinate in the spring.

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