Strip Farming

By: Maddy Boroughs and Brooke Keadle

Overview

Definition: practice of growing crops in strips, which alternate with strips of summer fallow (unplanted strips of tilled land) or another type of crop.

"Growing crops in a systematic arrangement of strips across a field. Types of strip cropping include contour, field or buffer. "

How it works: reduces land erosion by reducing wind speed and keeping wind from blowing across the unplanted areas. In the case where two different crops are planted, the two crops generally require nutrients in different quantities, so alternating which sections they are planted in helps preserve uniform soil nutrients which preserves quality.


The strip width depends on the steepness of the area being planted and the type of equipment needed to plant and harvest the crop.


It is a widely used agriculture technique and used wherever erosion is a major concern.


For optimal results, crop rotations need to be consistent with changing livestock and crop patterns in the area.


One of least costly conservation practices to put into place.

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Advantages and Disadvantages

Pros:

reduces soil erosion from water

reduces transport of sediment

reduces soil erosion from wind

protects growing crops from wind damage

improves water quality

improves visual quality of landscape

improves wildlife habitat

improves soil quality

improved crop growth

reduced horse power and fuel consumption


Cons:

Not effective when land slopes are longer than the critical slope length.

Increased travel time for farmers while growing and rotating crops.

Increased intention is required to avoid herbicide drifts between crops.


This is a very popular style of farming due to its long list of advantages and innovations.