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Tallgrass Prairie Center

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Iowa Prairie Seed and Service Providers

service provider header

 

A successful prairie planting requires good seed, proper installation and timely management. Knowledgeable, experienced seed vendors and service providers help ensure the best outcome.

To help you find qualified seed and service providers in Iowa, the Tallgrass Prairie Center has compiled a list of native seed vendors and contractors doing business across the state. This list is provided as a public service and constitutes no endorsement by the TPC.

Two versions of the list are provided: an Excel file, which can be sorted to simplify searching, and a PDF for printing.

This list is updated annually, with occasional mid-year updates as needed. Seed and service providers not currently listed should contact the Tallgrass Prairie Center at (319) 273-3836 for consideration.

 

2022 Iowa Prairie Seed and Service Providers (Excel)

2022 Iowa Prairie Seed and Service Providers (PDF)

 

Note: We encourage you to share this information, but please don't upload these files your web site. Simply link to this URL (tallgrassprairiecenter.org/seed-service-providers) so visitors to your site can see the most up-to-date version of the Seed and Service Provider list.

 

Prairie Services Custom Rate Survey

How much does it cost to establish and maintain prairie? The answer to that question depends on a multitude of factors, such as the size of the planting, ecological objectives, and your experience with restoration. Prairie is different than planting your typical corn and soybeans, requiring both different pieces of equipment for planting as well as a different mindset when doing so. A seed mix will contain a wide variety of species, all with their own unique shape and sizes. Overall, this seed is exceptionally small. Planting it too deep can result in poor establishment and disappointment. 

One avenue of successfully planting and managing prairie is to hire a contractor to conduct all or a portion of the work for you. The Tallgrass Prairie Center provides a Seed and Service Provider list on our website that is updated yearly. To help get a better estimate of what it costs to plant prairie, we conducted a survey of these contractors. There can be significant differences between custom rates for

The size of your prairie matters when it comes to both planting and burning, with smaller jobs having a higher per-acre cost than large ones. Burning a 10-acre prairie strip is going to take as much or more time as burning a 40-acre prairie planting that’s in one block. Drilling prairie seed and other specialized services can be significantly more costly than published estimates for custom grain drilling. One reason is the contractor’s longer travel distances. Also, some services may be bundled. For example, many contractors add the cost of cultipacking into their broadcast seeding costs.

 

Service Average Cost Per Acre Number of Responses
Drilling 1-19 acre $62 18
Drilling 20-39 acre $55 17
Drilling 40-80 acre $50 17
Drilling 80+ acre $43 17
Drilling average per acre 52.50  
Broadcasting 1-19 acre $49 11
Broadcasting 20-39 acre $45 10
Broadcasting 40-80 acre $38 10
Broadcasting 80+ acre $35 10
Broadcasting average per acre $41.65  
Cultipacking per acre $21.00 11
Prescribed Fire 1-19 acre $94

14

Prescribed Fire 20-39 acre $70 14
Prescribed Fire 40-80 acre $59 14
Prescribed fire 80+ acre $50 13
Prescribed fire average per acre $73.00  
Tilling per acre $46.00 10
Spraying per acre (no chemical) $44.00 13
Establishment Mowing per acre $37.00 18
Shallow Disking per acre $33.00 9

Figure 1: Prairie Services Custom Rate Survey Chart. Data from 2022.

 

Prairie seed and corn seed

Figure 2: Size comparison between praire seed and corn seed.