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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

Frequently Asked Questions

diversified farm

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

Prairie Strips for Improved Soil Retention, Water Quality and Habitat Creation

Wednesday, July 21, 2021 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm

From Missouri Prairie Foundation: 

Prairie strips are a new conservation practice that use native grasses and flowers to control erosion, filter water, create habitat, and much more. Iowa State University Agricultural Specialist Tim Youngquist will discuss details about the design, installation, and maintenance of prairie strips on corn and soybean ground. Read more about Prairie Strips for Improved Soil Retention, Water Quality and Habitat Creation

Prairie Strips Field Day

Monday, August 16, 2021 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm

This field day is free, open to the public and includes talks, opportunities for networking, and snacks! Kickoff event for the new MiSTRIPS program. Featuring Melissa Shaw of SKS Farms, Doug Landis and Corinn Rutkoski of Michigan State University and Marc Hasenick of Hasenick Brothers Farm.  Read more about Prairie Strips Field Day