Will prairie strips eliminate erosion completely? Do I still need grass waterways once I plant prairie strips?
Prairie strips will not completely eliminate erosion, and you may still need grass waterways. Data from our initial work at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge has shown that prairie strips can dramatically reduce sediment loss from the field, but there are still signs of in-field erosion, especially along the fall line of the watershed where a grass waterway could be quite effective.
- The strips slow down water and deposit sediment that has eroded from other parts of the field.
- Placing multiple strips on the contour within fields is better at slowing water and reducing erosion than just a single strip at the field edge.
- We recommend that prairie strips be used as part of a conservation system, which in many cases may include reduced tillage or no-till and grassed waterways.