Under the new farm program, growers will be able to earn federal conservation payments for installing prairie strips on their land. 

The 2018 Farm Bill for the first time named prairie strips, or the strategic planting of small amounts of prairie within corn and soybean fields, as a conservation practice eligible to participate in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). 

Prairie strips are now an official practice under the CRP Clean Lakes, Estuaries and Rivers Initiative. 

When developing policy to implement the law, the U.S. Department of Agriculture sought input from Iowa State University (ISU) researchers who pioneered much of the science on prairie strips over the last decade.  

The new policy has been approved by USDA, and farmers can offer to apply prairie strips through the ongoing Continuous CRP signup at their local USDA Service Center.   

Iowa State’s contribution to the CRP policy development process required translating experimental findings into real-world management guidelines that can be understood by farmers and implemented by policymakers.