Making Farmland Pollinator Friendly

As you’ve likely heard, the world is facing a pollinator crisis. It’s easy to think the current state of pollinators is exaggerated. The truth is that honeybees have decreased by 60% in the past 70 yearscertain species of bumblebees have lost as much as 96% of their population, and the monarch butterfly is on the verge of becoming an endangered species 

Should this continue, most of our major pollinators could be extinct within 15-20 years. 

Were we to lose our main pollinators, we would face serious consequencesFruit supplies would decrease by 23%, nuts and seeds by 22%, and vegetables by 16%. Remaining products would likely see a dramatic increase in price while certain crop markets would likely become oversaturatedThough virtually everyone would be impacted by this, farmers would likely be hit the hardest. 

The good news is farmers have a great opportunity to combat pollinator loss while directly benefitting from an increased pollinator presence on their lands. 

Saving Pollinators and Boosting Crop Yields 

One of the most effective ways to reverse the trend and save pollinators is to establish pollinator habitat that places an emphasis on pollinator diversity. Pollinator diversity is arguably the most effective strategy for solving the pollinator crisis.  

Currently, honeybees are responsible for 80% of US crop pollination. This isn’t because they’re superior to other pollinators. It’s simply because they were commercially available in large quantities. By creating land that is friendly to a wide variety of pollinators, we can protect ourselves from the potential loss of a single pollinator. Additionally, different pollinator species have unique benefits, which means you can expect better overall results when more pollinators are at work. 

Though the loss of the honeybee is due to the mysterious phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder, most pollinators simply lack proper habitat and resources. By establishing pollinator habitat, we can turn the tide and bring pollinator populations back to proper levels. Having pollinator habitat surrounding farmland provides additional benefits for farmers, as increased pollinator presence has proven to increase crop yields. 

Getting Paid to Establish Pollinator Habitat 

While pollinators provide numerous benefits for farmers, it can be a difficult decision to utilize farmland for pollinator habitat. Enrolling in the Conservation Reserve Program can make the decision much simpler. CRP offers market-based rental payments in exchange for taking marginal farmland out of active production and establishing native vegetation such as pollinator habitat.  

Not only does this provide a home for pollinators, but it reduces the use of harmful chemicals and pesticides that have also been linked to pollinator loss. Meanwhile, farmers can enjoy increased pollinator presence, healthier soil, continuing profits, and more.  

When done correctly, it’s a win-win for all parties involved. FDCE can help ensure your success. We offer full-service CRP solutions that take care of the entire establishment process including selecting and buying CRP seedplanting, herbicide application, documentation, and report submission. With CRP’s cost-share reimbursement, our services practically pay for themselves.  

Contact us today to learn how you can make your farmland pollinator friendly while still earning money on it.