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. Read more about Maintenance - Ongoing Management
To spread the word and adoption of this new conservation practice, the STRIPS team relies on the influence of multiple entities to work with Midwestern farming communities. These include partner organizations, cooperating landowners, scientists, educators, and extension specialists to visually display signage, conduct research, host educational field days and provide extension workshops. Read more about Social Engagement
Take Home Points
Incorporation of prairie strips into row crop land is one possible solution to the challenges facing Midwest farmers.
Converting just 10% of row crop land into prairie provides disproportionate benefits.
Prairie strips slow water runoff and encourage water infiltration, reducing soil erosion and nutrient export, thereby improving water quality.
Prairie strips increase the habitat available for biodiversity, including pollinators and some grassland birds.
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, and videos that will educate participants about some of the major challenges that Midwestern farmers and landowners face when it comes to meeting conservation goals, and how prairie strips can be used as a multi-benefit conservation practice. Read more about Training Module: Using Native Prairie Strips to Improve Soil and 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>
Challenge #3: Poor Biodiversity and Wildlife Habitat
A decline in biodiversity, or the variety of life in an area or ecosystem, is the third challenge identified by scientist Lisa Schulte Moore. Read more about Challenge #3: Poor Biodiversity and Wildlife Habitat
Students will be able to:
- Explain challenges facing Midwestern farmers.
- Define and explain the prairie STRIPS project.
- Explain the agronomic benefits of prairie strips.
- Recommend key features of prairie strip designs.
- Identify prairie plant species and the characteristics which make them useful in achieving conservation.
Challenge #1 How can Prairie Strips reduce Soil Erosion?
The flumes pictured below are used to measure runoff from the STRIPS watersheds. Note the difference in the amount of sediment displaced between pictures 1, 2 and 3. Picture 1 represents a 100% no-till crop field with corn and soybean rotation compared to just 10% prairie treatment in picture 2 and 100% prairie in picture 3. Read more about How Prairie Strips Address Midwestern Farmer Challenges