speed, enhancing the opportunity for infiltration, sediment deposition, and absorption
of soluble nutrients. Field borders are bands of vegetation planted at the field edge.
The primary difference between field borders and
is that field borders are
commonly used to create a stabilized pathway for equipment movement on the farm.
effectiveness data were found for field borders, it is likely that nutrient
removal is inhibited due to soil compaction from farm equipment travel.
Stripcropping the practice of planting a field alternating strips of grass and crop.
The area planted with the crop is equal to the area planted with grass. This practice
serves several purposes. It can reduce total soil loss from a field by reducing the
amount of cropland. The grass strips can slow down surface runoff, allowing for
greater water infiltration, uptake of
nutrients, and filtration/deposition of
sediment particles. The strips also improve soil structure by providing organic matter
and resisting the formation of crusts which promote runoff and erosion (R. Hansard,
Although we have found little information on the effectiveness of
stripcropping, it does support many of the functions provided by vegetated filter strips
and may have a similar effectiveness.
2-20 presents cost data for
borders, and stripcropping in the Tar-Pamlico Basin.
Table 2-20. Cost Data for
Field Borders, and Stripcropping
x 25' filter strip per acre (USDA-SCS, 1991).
Assuming 175' x 25' field border per acre (USDA-SCS, 1991).
O&M costs were not available for field borders. We assume O&M costs to be equal to those for vegetated
Assuming 50 percent conversion to grass