No seriously, if you care about pollinators like honey bees and Monarch Butterflies a great way to help them prosper, and help our food production system in the process, is to plant things they like to eat or use for habitat. As owners and managers of large amounts of land, farmers are stepping up to do their part.
More than a decade ago the U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval and designation of a week in June as “National Pollinator Week” marked a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. Pollinator Week has now grown into an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles.
Today kicks off the official 2018 Pollinator week which has been designated as June 18-24, and farmers interests in helping pollinators continue to grow. It’s estimated that pollinators provide us with one out of every three bites of food. They also sustain our ecosystems and produce our natural resources by helping plants reproduce. NCGA is proud to assist in spreading the word through its active role in the Honey Bee Health Coalition and Farmers for Monarchs.
These sites offer tools, resources and initiatives to support pollinator health. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Increase the numbers of pollinators on your agricultural lands.
- Learn how to reduce the direct exposure of pollinators to pesticides and how to protect critical nesting sites and food sources for beneficial insects & pollinators.
- Restore pollinator-friendly practices at your farm. Study the habitat on your land: look for areas that can support all kinds of pollinators and other wildlife.
If you haven’t thought about the contributions of pollinators for awhile here is a great video from Louie Schwartzberg at TED2011 to inspire you.
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.