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.
How long will the prairie strips work? Won't dirt pile up quickly above the prairie strip?
As water moves downslope in a field and encounters the prairie strips, there will be greater resistance to flow and the surface runoff water will slow down. When this water slows, some of the material it is carrying will be deposited. This generally occurs a few feet into the leading edge of the strip or immediately upslope of the strip.