Chapter 2: Introduction



Access to a variety of inexpensive, safe, and high quality foods can be credited to the productivity and efficiency of grain crop production techniques used today. However, the agronomic techniques used to manage the majority of grain acres are associated with some negative effects, including soil erosion, impaired water quality, and declining biodiversity in the Midwestern United States.

The Science-based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips (STRIPS) team at Iowa State University has been conducting research on the use of strips of prairie planted into row crops to combat these negative effect. Research conducted by the STRIPS team shows that a small number of acres converted into diverse, native, and perennial vegetation can have disproportionately positive impacts on soil and water quality as well as biodiversity.


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