Prairie strips is a farmland conservation practice that uses strategically placed native prairie plantings in crop fields. The practice has been tested by the STRIPS team on experimental plots at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa. The information was prepared by team members, and will be updated over time as needed, as we continue to learn. The answers below are general in nature, and may not apply in specific situations. Resources are provided with each answer.
Why plant prairie strips?
Will prairie strips eliminate erosion completely? Do I still need grass waterways once I plant prairie strips?
What are prairie strips?
How-to questions about prairie strips
How do I take care of my prairie strips? Do I have to burn the strips? How do I control weeds and invasive within the strips?
Other resources from STRIPS:
- Prairie Strips On My Land: Frequently Asked Questions, 16-page booklet with brief answers to questions about STRIPS [revised May 2015]
- Iowans' Perspectives on Targeted Approaches for Multiple-Benefit Agriculture, a 14-page report summarizing the results of a survey conducted to measure Iowans' support for a paradigm shift in agrienvironmental policy
- Small Changes, Big Impacts: Prairie Conservation Strips, a four-page fact sheet for a general audience about the STRIPS research project [revised July 2014]
- One-page infographic about impact of STRIPS (PDF) [revised October 2014]
- Watch Restoring the Balance: Prairie Conservation Strips, a 12-minute video with four out-take interviews about the enthusiasm surrounding STRIPS [September 2014]
- The Cost of Prairie Conservation Strips, a two-page color fact sheet that explains estimated costs to install and maintain prairie conservation strips
- A Landowner's Guide to Prairie Conservation Strips, a four-page color fact sheet that answers common questions about prairie conservation strips
- Incorporating Prairies into Multifunctional Landscapes, a 26-page color publication that looks at ways to incorporate prairies into farms, how they affect nearby crops, benefits they offer, and resources to establish your own prairie
- A Targeted Approach for Improving Environmental Quality, a 20-page color publication that makes the case for strategic use of trees, prairies and other perennials in key parts of the landscape to result in multiple environmental benefits and only a small change in overall agricultural production
Other groups and websites:
- Iowa Tallgrass Prairie Center website (how-to information and Prairie On Farms project)
- Plant Iowa Native website (seed sources and technical service providers)
- Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge website (original research location and Prairie Learning Center)