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. Read more about Prairie Strip Installation and Establishment
The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) is contracting with the STRIPS team to evaluate the performance of prairie strips in comparison to traditional filter and buffer strip implementations supported by the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). This page explains this evaluation effort. Read more about USDA Farm Service Agency Supports Evaluation of Prairie Strips
The 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
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
What are prairie strips?
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?