Prairie On Farms

Establishing Prairie to Improve Landscape Services on Farmland

The Prairie on Farms Program aims to scale up the use of prairie as a reliable, durable, and multifunctional conservation practice on agricultural lands. We share our knowledge of prairie restoration and management techniques with farm operators, managers, landowners, and technical service providers.


The Prairie on Farms Program has three primary components

  • Develop demonstration sites for prairie establishment education, particularly prairie strips in row-cropped fields.
  • Disseminate research findings through field days, technical guides, case studies, seed calculator, and other online tools.
  • Meet with diverse agricultural conservation stakeholders to identify and address areas of greatest conservation importance.

Prairie blazing star in bloom



Cost-share Options

Prairie Strips are now eligible for cost-share options through the USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) CP-43. Connect with your local USDA Service Center or NCRS Office for more information on the details of incorporating prairie strips on your farm. The CRP-43 has two targeted resource concerns:

  • Reduce soil erosion and improve water quality
  • Create diverse habitat for wildlife

If you would like to learn more about planting prairie on your farm, want to get involved in the Ag Conservation Working Group, or would like to receive demonstration field day updates contact Andrew Olson.



Funders and Collaborators

Funders: University of Northern Iowa, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Nutrient Research Center, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Iowa Economic Development Authority, The New York Community Trust, U.S. Department of Agriculture North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Disaster Resilience Grant to Iowa, Sitka Gear Ecosystem Grant.

Partners and Collaborators: Iowa State University STRIPS, Iowa State University Borlaug Learning Center, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever, Monarch Joint Venture, Women Food and Agriculture Network, AmeriCorps Land and Water Stewards, Iowa State University Extension, The Xerces Society, The Sand County Foundation, Practical Farmers of Iowa, Hertz Farm Management, Peoples Company, and Iowa Watershed Approach.