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Field Border

Photo of a field borderPerennial vegetation is established at the outside edges of a field where the edges are eroding. The grass or legume strips replace crop end rows, which would be planted up and down hill. The vegetation prevents erosion, helps filter runoff from the field, and provides habitat for birds and small animals. The border provides equipment turning and travel lanes.

How it helps...

  • Vegetative cover reduces sheet and rill erosion by slowing water flow
  • Vegetation filters runoff, improving water quality
  • Grass and legume strips may be harvested in some cases and are easier to turn on than end rows
  • Vegetation provides cover and habitat for small birds and animals


  • Profits
  • Soil Erosion
  • Water Quality
  • Wildlife


  • The borders should be at least 16 feet wide, or wider if needed to allow your equipment to turn.
  • Seed with legumes, perennial grasses or a mixture of the two. Check with local conservation specialists for appropriate seeding dates.
  • Shut off sprayers when turning on a field border, and insist that custom applicators do the same.
  • Fertilize and reseed as necessary to maintain vegetative cover.
  • Delay mowing field borders until after July 15 to allow nesting birds to leave their nests.