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Matthew J Helmers

Matt Helmers photo
Lead Contacts
Investigators
STRIPS Research Lead
Professor of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
Dean's Professor of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Iowa State University
Area of Expertise: 
Hydrology, Water Quality

FAQ: Will prairie strips plug tile lines?

Will prairie strips plug tile lines?

Perforated tile are buried under cropland to remove excess water detrimental to crop production. Farmers and landowners considering installing strips of prairie plants in their fields have asked about the possibility of roots growing into tile lines. To address this potential, Tim Younquist and Matt Helmers used video cameras to evaluate root penetration into the tile lines under prairie and continuous corn. 

FAQ: How do the prairie strips treat sub-surface water flow?

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.