Today is the official kickoff of Pollinator Week, which runs Monday, June 21 through Sunday, June 27 this year. Fourteen years ago, the U.S. Senate approved the designation of a “National Pollinator Week” to help bring to light the issue of declining pollinator populations. It has now grown into a worldwide celebration of all pollinators--bees, birds, butterflies, bats, beetles and small mammals, just to name a few!
NCGA is proud to support pollinator health awareness through initiatives like the Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund, the Honeybee Health Coalition and Farmers for Monarchs. These programs offer online tools, educational resources, and best management practices to help support pollinator habitats. By incorporating pollinator forage and creating a pollinator-friendly landscape in tandem with their crop lands, growers can protect soil health, improve water quality by controlling runoff and sediment, and capture carbon in the environment.
The next step in a good stewardship plan is using pollinator-friendly pest management practices. Programs like BeSure! from Growing Matters provide free guides and other resources to optimize the use of pesticide products to protect both crops and nearby pollinators.
With approximately 90 million acres of corn planted each year across a wide range of geographies, farmers have an important role in supporting pollinators and their habitats. Around 75% - 95% of all flowering plant species need pollinators for reproduction. In turn, pollinators provide their services to 180,000 different plant species and more than 1,200 crops. That translates to one out of every three bites of food being eaten are provided by our pollinators!
“Protecting pollinators is just one of the many ways corn growers help create and maintain a healthy and sustainable farming operation,” said Illinois corn grower and Production Technology Access Action Team Chair Kate Danner. “As a farmer, I take my role as a steward of the land very seriously. I know that our growers are committed to a legacy of conservation and sustainability.”
Pollinators contribute to ecosystem health and a sustainable food supply. And how better to show pollinators that you thank them than with flowering forage habitats and pesticide stewardship! Visit ncga.com/pollinators to learn more!
Additional Pollinator Week Resources
Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund: Seed a Legacy Program
The Honeybee Health Coalition: Corn Best Management Practices
Farmers for Monarchs: State Planting Resources
BeSure! by Growing Matters: Insect Pollinators and Pesticide Product Stewardship