(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
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?
How do the prairie strips treat sub-surface water flow?
Research as part of our project and other research on buffers and riparian buffers has found that when shallow subsurface flow interacts with the root zone under the prairie strip or other buffers, we can see significant reductions in the concentration of nitrate-nitrogen.
How will butterflies and bees find the prairie strips? Will they die when they get to the strips? Will treated seed kill the wildlife in the strips?
Butterflies and bees are attracted to the colors and scents of flowers within the strips. Flying above the crop pollinators will be able to locate the strips using these cues.
Why would I plant prairie strips on my farm?
Prairie strips are a new conservation practice that deliver enormous soil, water and nutrient benefits while increasing wildlife habitat. Prairie strips: Read more about FAQ: Why would I plant prairie strips on my farm?
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. Read more about Research Overview
STRIPS stands for Science-based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips. The STRIPS project is composed of a team of scientists, educators, farmers, and extension specialists working on the prairie strips farmland conservation practice. Our research shows that prairie strips are an affordable option for farmers and farm landowners seeking to garner multiple benefits. By converting 10% of a crop field to diverse, native perennials farmers and farmland owners can reduce the amount of soil leaving their fields by 95% and the amount of nitrogen leaving their fields through surface runoff by up to 85%. Prairie strips also provide habitat for wildlife, including pollinators and other beneficial insects.
Need more information on just what prairie strips are? Click here.
Or visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.
To watch a short movie about the history, design, and benefits of prairie strips please click here.
To find out about our team, mission, vision, and guiding principles: Read more.
Prairie strips are 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
To date, we’ve seen no effects of prairie strips on yields in adjacent cropped areas. Of course, converting cropland to prairie strips will reduce the amount of land that is cropped. Payments for prairie strips from federal conservation programs and other sources can help offset this cost. Read more about FAQ: Will prairie strips help increase my crop yield?
Iowa’s plentiful agriculture draws on the diminishing heritage of native prairies: rich soils, biodiversity, cleaned water and controlled erosion – services that are impaired by today’s agricultural practices. Are there practices that mix row-crop agriculture and prairie to develop win/win systems? The 6,400-acre Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Jasper County in central Iowa provided a unique opportunity for researchers to test practices on a "whole" watershed. Read more about FAQ: Why did you start your experiment at a National Wildlife Refuge?