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FAQ: Will prairie strips help pollinators?

Will prairie strips help pollinators?

Prairie strips provide both abundant and diverse flowering plants to agricultural landscapes, which are essential for supporting honey bees and conserving wild bees and butterflies. Flowers provide critical food resources for these insects: nectar for adult bees and butterflies, and pollen for the young bees. Furthermore, a growing body of scientific literature indicates that bee health is improved when they are provided a diverse diet of plants.

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FAQ: Does it matter what herbicides I use on my crops before planting 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 Prairie Strips?

Our cooperating farmers and farmland owners are best at explaining why and how prairie strips fit into the commercial farm environment. They are also passionate about sharing their perspectives with others. Click this link for a series of short interviews. Read more about Why Prairie Strips?

Research Overview

Helmers-Watkins-Liebman NSNWRThe STRIPS project began in 2003, when Iowa State University scientists began discussing the opportunity to test the effects of integrating restored prairie in crop fields with managers at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge. Together, the scientists and refuge managers established four different treatments on 12 small watersheds at Neal Smith in 2007. As of 2012, we're now also working on a growing number of commercial farm fields across Iowa and northern Missouri. Read more about the research background, farmer collaborators, and research topics here. Read more about Research Overview

Small changes = BIG impact!

STRIPS stands for Science-based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips. The STRIPS project is composed of a team of scientists, educators, farmers, and extension specialists working on the prairie strips farmland conservation practice. Our research shows that prairie strips are an affordable option for farmers and farm landowners seeking to garner multiple benefits. By converting 10% of a crop field to diverse, native perennials farmers and farmland owners can reduce the amount of soil leaving their fields by 95% and the amount of nitrogen leaving their fields through surface runoff by up to 85%. Prairie strips also provide habitat for wildlife, including pollinators and other beneficial insects.

Need more information on just what prairie strips are? Click here.

Or visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

To watch a short movie about the history, design, and benefits of prairie strips please click here.

To find out about our team, mission, vision, and guiding principles: Read more.

Interested in implementing prairie strips on your land? Contact today!  Read more about Small changes = BIG impact!