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Home > Protecting Our Lands & Waters > Conservation > Conservation Practices > Contour Buffer Strips

Conservation Practices | Minnesota Conservation Funding Guide

Contour Buffer Strips

In this birds-eye view, contour buffer strips look like ribbons of green between wider bands of rows crops farmed on the contour. Photo courtesy USDA NRCS.

Contour buffer strips are permanent, narrow bands of grasses/legumes planted on the contour (across or perpendicular to a slope) between wider strips of crops farmed on the contour. They are designed to reduce soil erosion and runoff on sloped fields. To serve this purpose, contour buffer strips must stay in the same location where originally established, i.e., they cannot rotate as part of a crop rotation.

Similar & related practices

More information

Guidance from USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service

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See contacts for specific programs that fund this practice in the side-by-side payment comparison or contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District