Download a ISU Extension report on how targeting key portions of row-crop fields to perennial vegetation can lead to dramatic improvements in environmental benefits on farmland:
How do I find more information about prairie strips?
There are many ways to get more information about prairie strips. This website, www.prairiestrips.org, is a good place to start for these items: Read more about FAQ: How do I find more information about prairie strips?
In support of open access and our team's data management protocols, we are making STRIPS data published in the peer-review literature are publicly available through a STRIPS repository on GitHub. In some cases, supporting R packages are also available.
GitHub is a version control repository and internet hosting service. Anyone can create a user account and access public repositories. Read more about STRIPS Data on GitHub
The STRIPS team designed an infographic (right) and one page description of the measured benefits of prairie strips benefits for soil, water quality, and wildlife, based on the team's experimental research at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge. Read more about Infographic on STRIPS Benefits
Will prairie strips plug tile lines?
Perforated tile are buried under cropland to remove excess water detrimental to crop production. Farmers and landowners considering installing strips of prairie plants in their fields have asked about the possibility of roots growing into tile lines. To address this potential, Tim Younquist and Matt Helmers used video cameras to evaluate root penetration into the tile lines under prairie and continuous corn. Read more about FAQ: Will prairie strips plug tile lines?
Strategically placing a small percentage of prairie strips within agriculture fields has been shown to reduce field level soil loss. However, less is known about in-field soil movement both erosion and deposition. Also, with the potential for increasingly stronger rainstorms and hence higher runoff, there is a need to obtain new insights about prairie strips design and its influence on sediment dynamics. Read more about Estimated Sediment Deposition and Movement within Interim 1 Watershed at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge: A Summary of E.A. Luquin Oroz, 2016
How are prairie strips different from contour buffers and grass strips?
Contour buffers are typically planted with fixed widths. In contrast, we vary the width of the prairie strips based on the amount of water they intercept, with the goal of treating all of the runoff leaving the crop field. Where more water is flowing down-slope, prairie strips should be wider, and where less water is flowing down-slope, the strips can be narrower.
Are prairie strips only for organic operations?
Prairie strips are a conservation tool that can be used in both conventional and organic farming operations. In conventional farming operations, precision herbicide management is useful. Native forbs (i.e., wildflowers) in the prairie strips are broadleaf plants and can be damaged or even killed by direct contact with herbicide. Once established, native grasses and forbs have deep root systems that help create a durable, resilient plant community.