We hosted a webinar on Wednesday about the benefits of integrating prairie strips into row crop operations.
Prairie strips can be a solution to reduce soil and nutrient loss from row crop operations. Prairie plants are perennial and have deep roots and tall, stiff stems that can prevent water and soil from moving across the ground. Prairie is also native and diverse, providing important habitat for our wildlife.
Tim Youngquist, Farmer Liaison for the Science-Based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips (STRIPS) team at Iowa State University, shared information about the history of the STRIPS project and the ongoing on-farm “STRIPS 2” trials. Youngquist helps farmers and landowners implement prairie strips on their land and on-farm trials are taking place across the state and region.
During the webinar, Youngquist also went through the answers to questions he is frequently asked about prairie strips, including:
- How do prairie strips impact water and nutrient movement?
- Will prairie plug my tile lines?
- What should I plant in the strips?
- Do the strips create habitat for pollinators, ground beetles, or grassland birds??
- How can prairie be used on my farm to achieve these benefits?
- What maintenance do I need to do after seeding?
If you’re interested in finding out if prairie strips could work in your operation, guidance is available in the Whole Farm Conservation Best Practices Manual.
Join us next week on Wednesday, August 5 for “Scaling up Oxbow Wetland Restorations for Multiple Benefits”, a webinar presented by Karen Wilke, Iowa Freshwater Specialist & Boone River Project Director for The Nature Conservancy.