Monarch Conservation Toolbox

Pilot Projects

Prairie on Farms

Centre des prairies à hautes herbes

United States

Agency Type

Original Language

“There is increasing interest in planting prairie on farms, for soil and water conservation as well as wildlife habitat and personal enjoyment. The Tallgrass Prairie Center is embarking on a new project to share [its] knowledge of prairie reconstruction and management techniques with rural landowners and technical service providers. In particular, the new technique of planting prairie right in the field, in strips that lie roughly on the contour (while fitting in with farming operations) has become increasingly popular.

Prairie strips can stop erosion, reduce nutrient loss, improve soil quality and support monarch butterflies and other wildlife. Starting in Spring 2015, [the Tallgrass Prairie Center] will be creating 7 acres [2.8 hectares] of contour prairie strips on  70 acres [28 hectares] of corn and soybeans near Dysart, farmed by the Luze Family Corporation. A second site will be on the Northeast Iowa Research Farm near Nashua. [The Tallgrass Prairie Center] will hold how-to workshops and field tours, and provide technical guides and other educational materials both in print and on this website. In Fall 2015 [the Tallgrass Prairie Center] plans to expand [their] demonstration sites in the Miller Creek Watershed area of Black Hawk County.

A central element of the project is to work with and support the technical service providers in government and industry who provide prairie reconstruction services to land owners. The Prairies on Farms project is funded by the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Center, the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Monarch Joint Venture. [We at the Tallgrass Prairie Center] are proud to collaborate with the Iowa State University STRIPS project, the Miller Creek Watershed Project, Practical Farmers of Iowa, People’s Company, and Monarch Joint Venture” (Tallgrass Prairie Center 2015).