In The News

Pollinators

May 3, 2022

BeSure! with Stewardship BMPs

Key Issues: SustainabilityPollinators

Author: Stacey Stiens

#Plant22 is underway and the BeSure! initiative is back with its fourth annual national campaign to promote best management practices (BMPs) when applying neonicotinoid insecticides. Ag stakeholders appreciate how neonicotinoid seed treatments and other products increase yields and boost revenues, but they are also committed to protecting bees and other wildlife. This spring, growers and applicators can follow a few simple guidelines to BeSure! they’re using pesticides safely.   For Growers:   Follow directions on the label for appropriate storage, use and disposal practices. When planting treated seed, use advanced seed flow lubricants that minimize dust. Additionally, when planting treated seed, eliminate flowering plants and weeds in the field prior to planting. For foliar applications, ensure that sprays are directed away from any flowering plants, follow established buffer zones and calibrate equipment to minimize spray drift. Before making an application, be aware of...

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Apr 22, 2022

Delivering on Our #CornCommitment this Earth Day

Key Issues: SustainabilityPollinators

Author: Stacey Stiens

Leaving the world in better shape than we found it . . . this is a tenet of policy written and upheld by our U.S. corn farmers. So, this Earth Day, let’s each make a commitment to amplify our impact on this front.  Let’s take time to share our conservation efforts!  Let’s illuminate how little changes can make BIG differences! Let’s inspire others to begin writing their own sustainability stories!  Here are some quick and impactful ideas to get started:   Review best management practices for your crop protection tools—like neonics—with Growing Matter’s BeSure! initiative. Consider planting a pollinator habitat!  Check out The Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund’s Seed A Legacy program. Fill your tank with clean-burning ethanol blends.  Visit Gas Buddy to find the nearest station carrying E15 and E85. Maximize nutrient applications with the 4Rs (right source, right rate, right time and right place). 4 Nutrient Stewardship will get you pointed in the “right” direction! To learn...

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Mar 18, 2022

National Butterfly Day + First Day of Spring = Practically Perfect Pollinator Planning

Key Issues: SustainabilityPollinators

Author: Stacey Stiens

Let’s talk environmental equations!  March 14th’s National Butterfly Day plus March 20th’s first day of Spring . . . equals the perfect calendar calculation for planning a new pollinator habitat!   Pollinator health is one of the leading sustainability issues in twenty-first-century agriculture. As public interest in pollinator health continues to increase, stakeholders in this discussion – our members and producers nationwide – have a critical role to play for implementation. Therefore, NCGA has partnered with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever – the nation’s leading charities for upland wildlife habitat conservation – to provide our members with direct complimentary conservation planning services for pollinator habitat outcomes in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.   In addition, NCGA proudly supports pollinator health awareness through initiatives like the Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund, the Honeybee Health Coalition and Farmers for Monarchs. These programs offer online...

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Nov 17, 2021

Pollinator Habitat – If You Plant It, They Will Come!

Key Issues: Pollinators

Author: Stacey Stiens

Since 1957, NCGA has stayed true to its mission of creating and increasing opportunities for corn growers throughout the United States. As part of this mission, our efforts across the sustainability sector have made waves for the advancement of land, water, and energy uses.   Taking our commitment to environmental sustainability one step further, NCGA has recently partnered with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever – the nation’s leading charities for upland wildlife habitat conservation – to provide our members with direct complimentary conservation planning services for pollinator habitat outcomes in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.   Pollinator health is one of the leading sustainability issues in twenty-first-century agriculture. As public interest in pollinator health continues to increase, stakeholders in this discussion – our members and producers nationwide – have a critical role to play for implementation. By partnering with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, NCGA...

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Oct 21, 2021

National Corn Growers Association forges new partnership with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever

Key Issues: SustainabilityPollinators

Author: Stacey Stiens

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is proud to announce their partnership—funded by NCGA’s Production Technology Access Action Team (PTAAT)—with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever. This new collaboration will focus on increasing pollinator and wildlife habitat in corn-producing states. Initially, the partnership will focus on corn producers in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, with room for expansion down the road.   “Pollinator health is a leading sustainability issue in 21st-century agriculture,” said Ohio grower and PTAAT Vice Chair Patty Mann. “As public interest in pollinator health continues to increase, stakeholders in this discussion – our members and producers nationwide – have a critical role to play for implementation. By partnering with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, NCGA can assist growers with profitability and sustainability measures on their farms for win-win scenarios.”   Pollinators are essential to the health of upland bird habitat and...

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Jun 21, 2021

Butterflies and Beetles and Bees, Oh My!

Key Issues: Pollinators

Author: Stacey Stiens

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...

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Apr 22, 2021

BeSure! This Growing Season

Key Issues: SustainabilityPollinators

Author: Stacey Stiens

Spring has sprung and the growing season is upon us! This Earth Day, the National Corn Growers Association is celebrating the third annual national campaign to promote pollinator health best management practices through BeSure!.   “Making sure farmers have access to the best and most up-to-date information is why NCGA has been a part of the BeSure! campaign from the beginning,” said NCGA Director of Biotechnology and Crop Inputs Nicole Hasheider. “With planting season underway across the country, it’s a great time for farmers to again consider how they can help protect important pollinators around their fields.”   The benefits of neonicotinoid seed treatments in protecting corn seeds from early-season pests are well documented. But farmers and applicators can protect both their crop and pollinators and other wildlife by following a few simple guidelines.    For Growers: Follow directions on the label for appropriate storage, use and disposal practices. When planting...

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Sep 1, 2020

Post-Harvest is a Great Time to Establish Pollinator Habitat

Key Issues: SustainabilityPollinators

Author: Mark Lambert

Fall is the best time to establish a pollinator habitat for a couple of key reasons, according to Peter Berthelsen, with the Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund (BBHF), which is supported by NCGA. So, if you are considering helping honeybees, monarchs and other pollinator species, your time is coming soon.     The first step in the enrollment process is to complete the Seed A Legacy program application form. Make sure to read and consider the complete Program Guidelines here. You can apply online or contact us at info@beeandbutterflyfund.org to request an application.   Dormant seedings when the soil temperature goes below 50 degrees work extremely well, he notes, because fall timing can offer a post-harvest planting window for farmers before things freeze. And it sure works a whole lot better than trying to carve out time during busy spring planting.   Many wildflower seeds also have a hard dormancy (a hard exterior). Freezing and thawing during the winter months crack the seed,...

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Jul 28, 2020

Pollinator Protection Efforts Continue to Expand

Key Issues: SustainabilityPollinators

Author: Mark Lambert

Throughout the growing season, farmers utilize stewardship practices for proper pesticide use while protecting crops from insect pests and also protecting pollinators. NCGA supports the BeSure! campaign as one way to support farmers, protect bees and other wildlife. Some of the other groups we work with include:   Honey Bee Health Coalition Farmers for Monarchs EDF Monarch Butterfly Habitat Exchange Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund You can find a wealth of information on protecting pollinators in NCGA’s publication Best Management Practices for Pollinator Protection in Field Corn at https://cdn.ncga.com/file/133/HBHC_Corn_030119.pdf.   Keystone Monarch Collaborative also offers an excellent resource called the Insect Pollinators and Pesticide Product Stewardship guide.   Knowing and following label instructions is a key step to protect all pollinators. Farmers and applicators know that reading and following labels are the first and most important consideration when...

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Jun 23, 2020

Pollinator Week is a Good Time to Review Best Management Practices

Key Issues: SustainabilityPollinators

Author: Mark Lambert

National Pollinator Week is June 22-28, 2020, so it is an excellent time to think about the best management practices you have in place to protect critical pollinators like honeybees and Monarch butterflies. It all starts with awareness.   Experts say talking to neighbors, applicators and nearby beekeepers goes a long way toward protecting pollinators from unintended pesticide exposure. To make sure you have the bases covered on the latest best management practices, be sure to check out this publication funded by your state checkoff investment.   Pollinator Week, approved by the U.S. Senate 13 years ago, is designated as a time to not only celebrate pollinators (such as bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles) but also a time to address what can be done to protect pollinators and their habitats.   Your Corn Grower organization engages in pollinator education all year round. It works cooperatively with The Honey Bee Health Coalition, Farmers for Monarchs, and the

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May 27, 2020

Second Annual BeSure Campaign Aims to Help Bees

Key Issues: SustainabilityPollinators

Author: Mark Lambert

The second annual “BeSure!” campaign supported by National Corn Growers Association is underway and runs through July.  The effort focuses on helping pollinators by promoting best management practices and habitat creation all year long.   BeSure centers on promoting proper use of neonicotinoid products to protect honeybees and other pollinators critical to the food supply and ecosystem. This year, the campaign is seeking to reach not only growers and applicators, but also golf course, turf, and ornamental landscape managers.   In its first year, BeSure! focused its messaging on major crops in the Midwest that utilize neonicotinoid-treated seed, such as corn and soybeans. This year, the campaign is expanding to include neonicotinoid foliar sprays, soil drenches, and granule uses on fruits, nuts, vegetables, turf, trees, and ornamental plants that bees visit.   (It’s also extending outreach to include the citrus industry in California and Florida where neonicotinoids have been...

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Feb 12, 2020

Now Is A Great Time to Consider Pollinator Habitat

Key Issues: SustainabilityPollinators

Author: Mark Lambert

A growing partnership between the National Corn Growers Association and the Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund (BBHF) supports creating new habitat for pollinators and you can help by considering adding habitat on your farm. The good news is the technical assistance and seed mix is free.   NCGA, with the assistance of state corn checkoff dollars, is working to raise the profile of the BBHF’s efforts and the free resources they make available to make farms more sustainable.   “If farmers have a resource concern, they have an area that is underperforming, it’s a great place to consider putting in some habitat, some additional vegetative cover, for water quality issues or erosion,” said Peter Berthelsen, Partnership Director at BBHF. “These areas present opportunities where pollinator habitat can work with a producer to address their resource concerns, and that’s a great fit for how we want to work with agriculture.”   Brandon Hunnicutt, an NCGA board member who works with the...

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