Vegetative Filter Strips for Nonpoint Source Pollution Control in Agriculture
University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources , 2006

Grismer, M.E., O'Geen, A.T., Lewis, D.

Orchards, vineyards, and row crops have the greatest erosion rates in irrigated agriculture, especially those that are managed with bare soil between tree or vine rows. The vegetative filter strip (VFS) offers one way to control erosion rates and keep soil in the field rather than letting it be carried off site in drainage water. A VFS is an area of vegetation that is planted intentionally to help remove sediment and other pollutants from runoff water (Dillaha et al., 1989). VFS protect surface water bodies in a number of ways: • They intercept surface water runoff and trap as much as 75 to 100 percent of the water’s sediment. • They capture nutrients in runoff, both through plant uptake and through adsorption to soil particles. • They promote degradation and transformation of pollutants into less-toxic forms. • They remove over 60 percent of certain pathogens from the runoff.