Frequently Asked Questions

Prairie strips at NSNWR by Meghann JarchowPrairie 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?

Why would I plant prairie strips?

Why did you start your experiment at a National Wildlife Refuge?

Will prairie strips help increase my crop yield?

Will prairie strips help pollinators?

Will prairie strips eliminate erosion completely? Do I still need grass waterways once I plant prairie strips?

What are prairie strips?

What are prairie strips?

How are prairie strips different from contour buffers and grass strips?

Are prairie strips only for organic operations?

Do I have to plant prairie plants? Can I just use brome?

What kind of plants are actually in the prairie strips? Are milkweeds included?

Where can I see prairie strips?

How-to questions about prairie strips

How long does it take to get mature prairie strips?

When is the best time of year to plant prairie strips?

How do I find seed for prairie strips?

Can I plant a less diverse mix? Can I plant only grasses?

What do prairie strips cost? Is there cost-share available? 

How do I find someone to seed prairie strips for me?

How does the placement of prairie strips affect water quality gains?

How long will the prairie strips work? Won't dirt pile up quickly above the prairie strip?

How do the prairie strips treat sub-surface water flow?

Will prairie strips plug tile lines?

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?

Will the prairie strips make my crops more weedy?

Does it matter what herbicides I use on my crops before planting prairie strips?

Will crop spray drift kill the plants in the prairie strips?

Will driving on the strips kill the prairie plants?

Can I bale my prairie strips?

Can I graze cattle on my prairie strips?

How will butterflies and bees find the prairie strips? 

How do we choose native species for my grass waterway?

How can I get prairie strips on my farm?

How do I find more information about prairie strips?

More resources

Other resources from STRIPS:

Other groups and websites: