Prairie strips are a conservation tool that can be used in both conventional and organic farming operations. In conventional farming operations, precision herbicide management is useful. Native forbs (i.e., wildflowers) in the prairie strips are broadleaf plants and can be damaged or even killed by direct contact with herbicide. Once established, native grasses and forbs have deep root systems that help create a durable, resilient plant community. Read more about FAQ: Are prairie strips only for organic operations?
Prairie strips are planted with native, perennial prairie species. Species include grasses, forbs (i.e., wildflowers), legumes, and sedges. Typically, plantings include stiff-stemmed warm season grasses (e.g., Indiangrass, big bluestem, little bluestem) and a wide range of erect forbs, including species of aster, beebalm, blazing star, bush clover, coneflower, goldenrod, and native sunflower. Read more about FAQ: What kind of plants are actually in the prairie strips?
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
How do I find someone to seed prairie strips for me?
The Plant Iowa Native website has contact information for seed sales and technical service providers.
Prairie strips are a conservation practice that uses strategically placed native prairie plantings in crop fields.
The practice was developed and tested by the STRIPS (Science-based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips) team at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa. Read more about FAQ: What are prairie strips?
Does it matter what herbicides I use on my crops before planting prairie strips?
Yes, the herbicides you use on your crops matter, especially when you are trying to establish prairie strips. Many alternatives to glyphosate will last in the soil for more than one season. There are planting restriction guidelines provided by manufacturers and you can refer to these to find out how long a herbicide will last and what crops are sensitive to it. (Prairie seedlings aren't listed separately, but would respond much like small grains, alfalfa, and clovers.) Read more about FAQ: Does it matter what herbicides I use on my crops before planting prairie strips?
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?