Thirteen years ago, National Pollinator Week was established to help raise awareness for the critical role pollinators play in our environment, as well as the challenges they face. This year’s initiative officially kicks off June 22, though things might look a little different in 2020.
Typically, countless events are held in communities across the country. Due to the current outbreak of COVID-19, the festivities are more limited than usual. However, there are still select events happening, and more importantly, you can still help raise awareness and show support for pollinator species in your state.
Why National Pollinator Week is Needed
The presence of pollinators doesn’t just benefit nature and other wildlife; it actively improves crop yields and overall farm health. Every year, pollinators contribute $29 billion to the US farming industry. Unfortunately, many major pollinator species are suffering from population declines:
- Between 1947 and 2005, the number of honeybees in the US decreased from 5.9 million to 2.4 million
- Since 1994, the population of the monarch butterfly has decreased by 80%
- Select species of bumblebees have experienced population loss as high as 96%
The loss of pollinator presence has resulted in low-quality crops and smaller yields for farmers, as well as higher prices and lower availability for consumers. You don’t have to be a conservationist to see how important it is that we help our country’s pollinators thrive.
The question is, what can we do?
Supporting Pollinators Year-Round Through CRP
While honeybees are dying largely due to the mysteries of colony collapse disorder, native pollinator species like bumbles and butterflies are dying due to a loss of habitat and food sources. Thankfully, this is a correctable issue. By establishing pollinator habitat, these species can be brought back from the brink of extinction, and balance can be restored.
If you are a farmer or landowner with underperforming or highly erodible land, you can be paid to establish pollinator habitat through the Conservation Reserve Program. CRP pays rental payments based on soil rental rates for taking marginal land out of active production and establishing native vegetation such as pollinator habitat.
Not only does this benefit both pollinators and your profit margins, but it helps restore health to your field’s soil. Best of all, with FDCE’s help, you can establish CRP with little-to-no work on your end. FDCE offers turn-key CRP solutions that handle the entire process from start to finish. We even take care of the paperwork and report submission to FSA so you can receive your maximum cost-share reimbursement as soon as possible.
Contact us today to learn more. Together, we can help save our precious pollinators and enjoy the benefits that they bring.