News & Publications

Sand County Foundation Receives Grant for Prairie Filter Strip Research in Midwest Watersheds

The United Soybean Board has awarded a grant to the Sand County Foundation to demonstrate how prairie filter strips can improve water quality and increase biodiversity on soybean farms.

The $107,500 grant supports Sand County Foundation’s work with farmers and conservation partners in three Midwestern watersheds.

A prairie strip is a farmland conservation practice that incorporates diverse, native vegetation within crop fields to capture runoff.

Research from Iowa State University has shown that placing prairie strips on 10 percent of a farm field can reduce soil erosion by more than 90 percent and nutrient loss by more than 80 percent. Prairie strips also provide habitat for pollinators and other wildlife.

Sand County Foundation, a national non-profit that works at the intersection of agriculture and environmental improvement, will work with farmers to install prairie strips, study their economic and environmental impacts, and share the findings with landowners, municipalities, lake associations and other water quality stakeholders.

The grant from United Soybean Board broadens the scope of Sand County Foundation’s efforts to demonstrate prairie filter strips on Wisconsin farms of varying soil types, typographies and management styles.

Key partners in this project include American Farmland Trust in the Upper Macoupin Creek watershed in Illinois, the Catfish Creek Watershed Management Authority in Dubuque County, Iowa, and the Dodge County Farmers for Healthy Soil & Water and Dodge County Alliance in Wisconsin.

Sand County Foundation tests and demonstrates conservation practices with farmers, ranchers, foresters and businesses. These efforts produce clean water, healthy soil, abundant wildlife habitat and opportunities for outdoor recreation.

For more on Sand County Foundation’s work with prairie filter strips, visit: