A filter strip is an area of grass or other permanent vegetation used to reduce sediment, organic particulates, nutrients, pesticides, and other contaminants from runoff and to maintain or improve water quality.
Filter strips intercept undesirable contaminants from runoff before they enter a water body.They provide a buffer between contaminant source, such as crop fields and water bodies, such as streams and ponds.Filter strips slow the velocity of water, allowing the settling out of suspended soil particles, infiltration of runoff and soluble pollutants, adsorption of pollutants on soil and plant surfaces, and uptake of soluble pollutants by plants.
Filter strips are normally established as part of a conservation management system to address the soil, water, air, plant and animal needs and the owner's objectives.It is important on cropland to plan the conservation crop rotation, nutrient and pestmanagement, and other cropland practices.Filter strips can also provide forage production, wildlife habitat and improve farm aesthetics.They are most effective when used in combination with other agronomic or structural practices to provide conservation benefits.
Filter strips can enhance wildlife objectives depending on the vegetative species used and management practiced.Consider using native or adapted vegetative species that can provide food and cover for important wildlife.Delay mowing or grazing of a filter strip area until after the nesting season.
Site-specific requirements are listed on the specification sheet.Additional provisions are entered on the job sketch sheet.Specifications are prepared in accordance with the NRCS Field Office Technical Guide.See practice standard Filter Strip (393).