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
How does the placement of prairie strips affect water quality gains?
While this is still an active area of research, there are a few guiding principles we can draw upon to try to maximize water quality gains.
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). Read more about A Nutrient Reduction Strategy with Matt Helmers
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: Read more about Challenge #2: Reduced Water Quality
Soil Erosion, Water Quality, and Biodiversity Are Three Challenges Midwest Farmers FaceRead more about Chapter 3: Soil Erosion, Water Quality, and Biodiversity Are Three Challenges Midwest Farmers Face>
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