A strip of grass, trees or shrubs that filters runoff and removes sediment, fertilizer, and pesticides before they reach water bodies or water sources including wells.
How it works
Ground cover reduces soil erosion.
The vegetative strip moves rowcrop operations farther from a stream.
Vegetation prevents contaminants from entering water bodies, protecting water quality.
Are plants adapted to your soil types?
Have you selected the correct species of vegetation for the control you need? For example, are you establishing the filter strip around a sinkhole, to control runoff from a feedlot or to filter runoff from cropland?
Filter strips for cropland must be at least 15 feet wide.
% Slope Minimum width
10-20 20 feet
20-30 25 feet
A minimum 50 foot width is required for filter strips on forest land.
Do not use a filter strip as a roadway.
Filter strips will be less effective under snow or during frozen conditions.
Avoid drift when applying herbicides on surrounding cropland.
Controlled grazing may be allowed if filter strips are dry and firm.
Close mowing will reduce filter strip efficiency.
Control grazing if livestock have access to filter strips.
* Criteria may need to be adjusted for local conditions.