Eight years ago, the U.S. Senate approved designating a week each June as Pollinator Week. June 19-25, is the official week in 2017. In the wake of that decision, many positive steps have been taken to help pollinators from Monarch butterflies to honey bees, and the National Corn Growers Association is proud to be part of these efforts.
Corn does not require pollination by honey bees, but NCGA recognizes the integral role they play in a productive agriculture system. Some of your favorite foods such as berries, apples, oranges and almonds, depend on pollinators. That’s why NCGA works collaboratively with the Honey Bee Health Coalition seeking a menu of solutions to the challenges bees face.
Honey bees and pollinators work throughout the year to support the food and products we count on every day. Pollinator Week is an opportunity to highlight everything honey bees make possible — including billions of dollars in North American agriculture.
Coalition members are doing their parts to highlight not only the challenges bees face, but also the opportunities for everyday people to support honey bee health.
NCGA encourages farmers to plant pollinator habitat, factor pollinators into pesticide application methods and timing and working directly with any beekeepers who might be on their property or nearby. Click here to learn about the grower’s and beekeeper’s roles.
Corn growers are also pursuing exciting work into identifying the many diseases harming bee colonies by developing state-of-the-art genomic identification methods that are faster and more cost effective in the past. This test panel developed by the National Agricultural Genomics Center screens for 11 viral and bacterial pathogens attacking colonies.
Pollinator Week has grown to be an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles. There are plenty of online resources if you want to help. Planting a garden with pollinator-attracting and bee-friendly blooms is a great way to ensure these pollinators are getting the food they need to survive and do their job—pollinate other plants.
CommonGround is a group of farmers connecting with consumers through conversations about science and research and personal stories about food and misinformation surrounding farming. Supported by the NCGA and state corn organizations.
The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) is a farmer-led initiative that fosters transformation in agriculture through improved soil health. Administered by NCGA the partnership has more than 220 working farms enrolled in 16 states. SHP’s mission is to utilize science and data to partner with farmers who are adopting conservation agricultural practices that improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the farm.
The Corn Utilization and Technology Conference (CUTC) is a biennial event happening this June. Learn more.