FAQ: Can I bale my prairie strips?

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Can I bale my prairie strips?

Prairie strips could serve as a source of hay if harvested later in the summer, but the plant species composition may shift. Managers may find it difficult to maintain a diversity of grass and forb species.

An alternative harvesting strategy is to wait until after a killing frost, when prairie species have moved many of their nutrients into their roots or have dispersed their seeds to foster a future generation of plants. Harvesting prairie strips in mid-to-late fall can provide a sizable amount of low quality hay and/or livestock bedding, without strongly altering species composition.

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