Valley Stewardship Network to host prairie workshop near Viroqua – La Crosse Tribune

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Valley Stewardship Network to host prairie workshop near Viroqua

Dave van Dyke has planted several prairie STRIPS on his rural Viroqua property with the help of Valley Stewardship Network.

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Valley Stewardship Network is hosting a Prairie STRIP (Science-Based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips) presentation Wednesday, Sept. 8, from 5: 30 to 7: 30 p.m.Host Dave van Dyke has planted several prairie STRIPS on his property over five years. He will take the group on a tour of a few of his STRIPS at various locations on his farm, which will demonstrate different stages of growth. Van Dyke will also discuss the seed mixes he used, the planting of the STRIPS, and what it takes to maintain them over time. Valley Stewardship Network has helped him design and install his prairie STRIPS, as well as those of many others around the area, and will have representatives on hand to answer questions as well as talk about other native planting techniques. There will be light refreshments.Prairie STRIPS are a farmland conservation practice developed at Iowa State University. By converting 10% of a row-cropped field to native tall-grass prairie plants, sediment export is reduced 95%, phosphorus export is reduced 90%, and nitrogen export is reduced nearly 85%. The plant diversity also increases native pollinators and birds and increases soil organic matter, which helps hold water. Using native plants also builds sustainability, restores ecosystem services, and increases the area’s biodiversity. This practice contributes to productive farming and conserving our natural resources. Planting prairie STRIPS dovetails with Valley Stewardship Network’s Plant Natives for Biodiversity Initiative.Dave van Dyke’s address is S5385 Hansen Lane, Viroqua. From Viroqua, go west on Hwy. 56 about 10 miles. Turn left on County Road N. After 8/10th of a mile, turn left onto a gravel road – Hansen Lane (it will look like a driveway, but is really a road). Follow the road to the end and park.For additional information, call Valley Stewardship Network at 608-637-3615 or email [email protected]

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Dave van Dyke has planted several prairie STRIPS on his rural Viroqua property with the help of Valley Stewardship Network.

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