Project Details:

Native Perennial Filter Strips to Improve Water Quality and Biodiversity for Sustainable Soybean Production

Parent Project: This is the first year of this project.
Checkoff Organization:United Soybean Board
Organization Project Code:2020-172-0142
Project Year:2020
Lead Principal Investigator:Craig Ficenec (Sand County Foundation)
Co-Principal Investigators:

Contributing Organizations

Funding Institutions

Information and Results

Comprehensive project details are posted online for three-years only, and final reports indefinitely. For more information on this project please contact this state soybean organization.

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Final Project Results

Updated February 1, 2021:
This project evaluated the potential for strips of native perennial vegetation (i.e. prairie strips) to reduce the impact of row crop production on water quality in the Midwest. Geospatial analysis of topography in seven small watersheds shows that prairie strips could be a suitable conservation practice on up to one-third of existing cropland. Modeling of sediment and nutrient reductions from fields with up to 10% coverage by prairie strips predicts nutrient reductions of over 50% and sediment reductions of up to 90% at the field edge. Implementation of prairie strips as both field borders and contour buffers on six farms suggests the practice is compatible with farmer objectives and field operations. An economic evaluation of prairie strips maintained over ten years shows a total practice cost of approximately $50 per acre of cropland treated when strips are applied on 10% of a field with financial support from a new initiative of the Conservation Reserve Program. Stakeholders in project watersheds including wastewater utilities, lake associations, and conservation districts have demonstrated willingness to provide technical and financial support to farmers to support the practice. Further on-farm demonstration and evaluation of both water quality and biodiversity benefits of this practice can help US soybean farmers achieve sustainability goals with support from local watershed initiatives and Federal CRP land rental payments.

Project Years