Iowa State University ecologist Lisa Schulte Moore and the Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge have collaborated on ground breaking research related to Prairie ecosystems and farming. The research ha planted strips of Native Prairie within fields of common commodity crops like corn and soybeans. These strips of Native Prairie are 10% of the total acreage of each trial plot. The researchers then tested the amount of nitrogen runoff, phosphorus runoff and sediment loss. The results were amazing with the plots contain the 10% Native Prairie the nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment loss was reduced by 90%. These three issues are some of the biggest problems for farmers and this research shows that by planting small strips of Native Prairie within the farm landscape farmers can not only conserve soil, save money in application of chemicals, and provide important wildlife habitat. This research has the potential to change the farm landscape from one that plows fence-line to fence-line to one that promotes conservation as an economically viable option!
Please read more about the project and the research by clicking the links below...