Download a ISU Extension report on how targeting key portions of row-crop fields to perennial vegetation can lead to dramatic improvements in environmental benefits on farmland:
How do I find more information about prairie strips?
There are many ways to get more information about prairie strips. This website, www.prairiestrips.org, is a good place to start for these items: Read more about FAQ: How do I find more information about prairie strips?
In support of open access and our team's data management protocols, we are making STRIPS data published in the peer-review literature are publicly available through a STRIPS repository on GitHub. In some cases, supporting R packages are also available.
GitHub is a version control repository and internet hosting service. Anyone can create a user account and access public repositories. Read more about STRIPS Data on GitHub
The STRIPS team designed an infographic (right) and one page description of the measured benefits of prairie strips benefits for soil, water quality, and wildlife, based on the team's experimental research at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge. Read more about Infographic on STRIPS Benefits
Strategically placing a small percentage of prairie strips within agriculture fields has been shown to reduce field level soil loss. However, less is known about in-field soil movement both erosion and deposition. Also, with the potential for increasingly stronger rainstorms and hence higher runoff, there is a need to obtain new insights about prairie strips design and its influence on sediment dynamics. Read more about Estimated Sediment Deposition and Movement within Interim 1 Watershed at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge: A Summary of E.A. Luquin Oroz, 2016
Can I plant a less diverse mix? Can I plant only grasses?
The number of types of prairie plants sown (“species richness”) and the amount of each type that is present in seed mixes is a management decision. How the plants will function and the seed mix costs are two primary considerations.
How does the placement of prairie strips affect water quality gains?
While this is still an active area of research, there are a few guiding principles we can draw upon to try to maximize water quality gains.
How long will the prairie strips work? Won't dirt pile up quickly above the prairie strip?
As water moves downslope in a field and encounters the prairie strips, there will be greater resistance to flow and the surface runoff water will slow down. When this water slows, some of the material it is carrying will be deposited. This generally occurs a few feet into the leading edge of the strip or immediately upslope of the strip.
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.