Prairie Filter Strips

Native prairie plants can act as a sponge and slow soil runoff from rain. Research from Iowa State University shows planting dense, diverse and deep-rooted strips of prairie next to corn and soybean fields has multiple environmental benefits.

Sand County Foundation is working with farmers to demonstrate how prairie filter strips work on Midwestern farms of varying soil types, topography, and management.

In partnership with farmers, researchers, and service providers, we are applying examples of Iowa State University’s STRIPS project to southern Wisconsin and beyond.

Prairies of the past = modern conservation tool

SCF's prairie strip efforts began in 2017, with the implementation of six demonstration sites funded through the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) program. With subsequent support from the United Soybean Board and Iowa State University, we are advancing this work into other Midwestern states.

Our goal is to validate the capability of the practice to reduce erosion and improve water quality, while identifying benefits and potential barriers to farmer adoption. Prairie strips are now an approved practice in the federal Conservation Reserve Program.

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Farming with Prairie Strips - Dick Sloan

Stoffel Farm's Prairie Strips

Hammer & Kavazanjian Farm Prairie Strips

Doudlah Farms - Prairie Strips in Organic Grains

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BEFORE & AFTER: Sand County Foundation assisted a prairie strip planting with Ross Bishop of Washington County, Wisconsin in 2018 (above). Two years later, the prairie strip was flourishing (below).

Bishop After

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