STRIPS Farmer Liaison presents on "Spreading Prairie to Iowa Farms" in this recent Iowa Learning Farms webinar. Tim is the best person on the team to ask questions of when it comes to on-farm implementation of prairie strips.
Have questions about prairie strips? Visit our new Frequently Asked Questions webpage.
Have questions about the potential for prairie strips on your land? Check out our frequently asked questions (FAQs) brochure: 2015-05-prairie-strips-my-land-frequently-asked-questions.pdf. (1.2 MB)
Prairie strips is a farmland conservation practice that uses strategically placed native prairie plantings in crop fields. The practice has been tested by the STRIPS team since 2007 on experimental plots at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge and increasingly on commercial farms across Iowa. Here we present our responses to the Frequently Asked Questions we receive on prairie strips at conferences and field days, and through email. The information was prepared by team members, and will be updated over time as needed, as we continue to learn. The answers below are general in nature, and may not apply in specific situations. Resources are provided with each answer.
Students will be able to:
- Explain challenges facing Midwestern farmers.
- Define and explain the prairie STRIPS project.
- Explain the agronomic benefits of prairie strips.
- Recommend key features of prairie strip designs.
- Identify characteristics of prairie plant species which makes them useful conservation devices.
- Describe appropriate prairie strip installation and establishment procedures.
Challenge #2: Reduced Water Quality
Nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, and suspended soil sediments have greatly diminished water quality (USEPA, 2017a). Polluted water with unusually high concentrations of dissolved or suspended materials, or small amounts of highly toxic materials can be detrimental and sometimes even deadly to living things. Civilization has many uses for and is dependent on high-quality water (Troeh et al., 2004).
Major agricultural contributions to reduced water quality include:
Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy
“The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy is a science and technology-based framework to assess and reduce nutrients to Iowa waters and the Gulf of Mexico. It is designed to direct efforts to reduce nutrients in surface water from both point and nonpoint sources in a scientific, reasonable and cost effective manner” (ISU, 2017b).