Research on the benefits from prairie strips placed in crop fields continues to grow at Iowa State University.
STRIPS, or “Science-based Trails of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips,” is a project investigating strips of farmland converted to native prairie plants. These strips are typically created between crops, at the edge of farm fields, or on lower performing fields.
AMES, Iowa – Researchers at Iowa State University will test how the environmental benefits of planting strips of prairie among row crops change over time, filling in an unexplored gap in prairie strip research that stretches back over a decade.
Issue: The STRIPS project (Science-based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips) conducted at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge near Prairie City showed integrating tallgrass prairie vegetation into row-cropped watersheds can provide water quality benefits and increase biodiversity across several taxa. Because these studies were conducted on small watersheds at one location, there is a need to evaluate the water quality benefits of prairie strips when implemented on a full-farm scale across various locations in Iowa.