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:
(November, 2014) Listen to webinar by Lisa Schulte Moore on the science and practice of prairie strips! The webinar was hosted by The Stewardship Network and was originally delivered on November 12th. Read more about The Stewardship Network webinar featuring STRIPS
(February, 2015) STRIPS team is now working with Eastern Iowa Airport and the University of Iowa to achieve both water quality and homegrown bioenergy production goals. Click here to the airport's press release on this exciting new development. Read more about Exciting New Partnership between Eastern Iowa Airport, Iowa State University & the University of Iowa
Work by a Master's student at Wageningen University in The Netherlands supports prairie strips practice. Read summary here. Read more about New Modeling Work Supports In-field Buffer Strips as a Way to Conserve Soil Under Intense Rainfall
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. Read more about Frequently Asked Questions
The STRIPS project began in 2003, when Iowa State University scientists began discussing the opportunity to test the effects of integrating restored prairie in crop fields with managers at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge. Together, the scientists and refuge managers established four different treatments on 12 small watersheds at Neal Smith in 2007. As of 2012, we're now also working on a growing number of commercial farm fields across Iowa and northern Missouri. Read more about the research background, farmer collaborators, and research topics here.
(March, 2014) An article in Wallaces Farmer highlights the soil and water quality benefits of STRIPS. Click here to learn how STRIPS retain soil and nutrients on the field.
Read about prairie strips in Corn & Soybean Digest. STRIPS Farmer Liaison Tim Youngquist says, “Each field is unique; each farmer’s entrepreneurial spirit is different. We consider equipment width and ‘farmability’ to avoid dramatically changing a field’s existing farming pattern.”
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
The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) is contracting with the STRIPS team to evaluate the performance of prairie strips in comparison to traditional filter and buffer strip implementations supported by the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). This page explains this evaluation effort. Read more about USDA Farm Service Agency Supports Evaluation of Prairie Strips