INHF in Action: Staff seed harvest

By Taylor on October 25, 2013 in Blog

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INHF staff and interns traded an afternoon in the office for some fresh air and prairie seed harvesting.

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Traditionally the INHF land stewardship staff is involved in harvesting prairie seed. This year several other INHF staff and interns took a day to lend a hand in the process.

On Oct. 18, the land stewardship department and Joe McGovern, INHF president, taught their co-workers, many of whom were seed-harvesting novices, how to properly harvest prairie seed by hand at an INHF property in Polk County.

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Joe McGovern gave a brief introduction to the property and the task at hand. Afterward, Joe and the land stewardship staff helped others identify species for a bit, and then everyone dispersed to collect the seed. The group spent the afternoon removing the seeds from a slew of species, including indiangrass, big blue stem, little blue stem, roundheaded bush clover, stiff golden rod and prairie cinquefoil. After it was collected, the seed was scattered on a different area of the same INHF property.

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Prairie seed harvests can take place from early summer through late fall due to various bloom times for different native prairie species. The bulk of the seed collection by hand takes place between 

September and November, said Ryan Schmidt, INHF land stewardship assistant.

Although hand collection is the most common means of seed collection, combines and seed strippers can be used on large-scale harvests.

Learn more about Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation on our website.