Prairie strips are a farmland conservation practice that deliver enormous soil, water and nutrient benefits while increasing wildlife habitat. Prairie strips:
Welcome to the Prairie Strips training module. This self-guided resource is intended for consulting professionals, technical or extension staff, and those interested in learning more about the prairie strips practice. The seven chapters listed below include descriptions, visuals,a nd videos that will educate participants about some of the major challenges that Midwestern farmers and landowners face when it comes to maintaining ecosystem services and how prairie strips can be used as a multi-benefit tool to mitigate these challenges.
Installation and Establishment
Prairie strips are most easily established in fields which have previously been used for tilled annual row crop production (Jarchow and Liebman, 2011). Seeding following soybeans is especially favored for prairie strip establishment because the tilled field will have a reduced seed bank of annual weed seed and the soybean stubble will decompose readily (Jarchow and Liebman, 2011).
Nonetheless, if the correct procedures are followed prairie can be easily established following any crop or land cover.
Maintenance - Ongoing Management
Maintenance Year 1:
During the first year of establishment prairie plant species will use their energy mainly for root growth. It is important to allow sunlight to reach the soil surface and the prairie plants (STRIPS, 2017b). Annual weed pressure will be the greatest during the first year and will decrease in subsequent years.