(Posted Thu. Oct 10th, 2019)
NCGA constantly works to ensure corn growers’ voices are represented in wide-ranging conversations on sustainability issues like the long-term health and viability of honeybees. Most recently, NCGA Director of Biotechnology and Crop Inputs, Nicole Hasheider, participated in the annual meeting of the Honeybee Health Coalition.
As an active member of the coalition for several years, NCGA ensures The Coalition includes representation across a spectrum of stakeholders, including grower groups like NCGA, commercial beekeepers, input providers, specialty crop growers and more.
Even though corn production does not require pollination from bees, NCGA still engages with groups like the Honeybee Health Coalition to create dialogue and foster a better understanding of the similarities and differences in crop production around the country. During the meeting, NCGA staff had the opportunity to lead a discussion on crop selection and grower decision making, which gave other participants the chance to understand row crop production systems and the related infrastructure, marketing opportunities, support systems and more.
Corn growers can take small steps to support the health of honeybees and other pollinators like monarchs and strengthen the surrounding ecosystem for long-term sustainability. One such step is the planting of pollinator habitat on unused land on the farm, such as areas near farm buildings, or on marginal lands, like CRP group. Many resources are available to farmers interested in establishing a habitat, including the Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund and Farmers for Monarchs.
NCGA also supported the development of a BMP guide for pollinator health in collaboration with the Honeybee Health Coalition. This guide provides best practices for corn growers to use throughout the season that can also protect pollinator health.