Iowa State University Extension Releases Publications About Prairie Strips Conservation Practice

Lisa Schulte Moore at a prairie strips site.

AMES, Iowa — A series of publications includes everything farmers and landowners need to know about a conservation practice developed by Iowa State University scientists that has proven environmental benefits.

The Science-based Trials of Row-crops Integrated with Prairie Strips (STRIPS) project involves converting 10 percent of a row-cropped field to strategically placed prairie strips. The practice has been shown to keep soil in place, improve soil quality, reduce nitrogen and phosphorus from entering water bodies and enhance wildlife habitat.

“We’re excited about these new publications,” said Lisa Schulte Moore, STRIPS project co-lead and Iowa State professor of natural resource ecology and management. “They incorporate a substantial amount of practical experience the team has gained in the last few years working with farmers and farmland owners to implement prairie strips on their farms, in addition to our science findings.”

Five publications were recently published by Iowa State University Extension. They are available free of charge on the Extension Store.

The STRIPS publications include:

  • A Landowner's Guide to Prairie Strips, AE 3609, provides an introduction to prairie strips for landowners.
  • Prairie Strips: Small Changes, Big Impacts, AE 3610, summarizes the scientific research underpinning prairie strips.
  • The Cost of Prairie Strips, AE 3611, breaks down the establishment and maintenance costs of prairie strips.
  • Farming with Prairie Strips, AE 3612, provides an introduction for farmers.
  • Installing Prairie Strips:  Frequently Asked Questions, AE 3613, provides a detailed review of factors farmers and landowners should consider when implementing prairie strips.

Several fields around the state have been converted to prairie strips. Demonstration sites are available for visits at Iowa State University Research and Demonstration Farms and the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge near Prairie City.

A field day Sept. 21 at the J.H. Roadman Memorial Park in Grundy County will present information about STRIPS.