The honeybee has long been the US’s main pollinator, contributing over $15 billion to our economy every year. Over the past few decades, however, the honeybee has seen its population cut in half largely due to colony collapse disorder.
If things continue at this rate, the honeybee could be extinct by 2035.
Unfortunately, counteracting CCD directly has proven to be difficult. Eliminating the use of certain pesticides while increasing pollinator habitat can help, but it’s not enough. Of course, the honeybee isn’t the only pollinator available. The problem is that many other pollinator species are facing large population declines as well, including bumblebees and the monarch butterfly.
So, what can be done?
To protect against the shortage of any singular pollinator, pollinator diversity is needed. Pollinator diversity prevents an overreliance on a particular species, safeguarding against population decline while maintaining necessary pollination levels.
When pollinators are present, surrounding vegetation thrives. By providing habitat for pollinators and promoting pollinator diversity, farmers can see their crop yields improve. This should also help combat the population loss that so many pollinator species are facing.
How to Promote Pollinator Diversity
Arguably the best way for farmers and landowners to promote pollinator diversity is by enrolling in the Conservation Reserve Program. By taking marginal land out of active production, farmers can receive rental payments based on market value in exchange for establishing native vegetation.
With the right pollinator-friendly CRP seed mix, farmers can establish an environment that’s perfect for a wide range of pollinator species. This requires accounting for different bloom periods, as well as selecting a variety of colors that attract different pollinators.
Pollinator Seed Selecting, Purchasing, and Establishing
Creating successful pollinator habitat that supports a diverse community of pollinators takes careful planning and proper execution. Not only will you need the right seed, but you’ll need the proper equipment adjusted to the right settings.
FDCE can help you with that and more.
At FDCE, we provide full-service CRP solutions that take care of the establishment process for you. This includes CRP seed selection, planting, herbicide application, proper documentation, and report submission to FSA for cost-share reimbursement. We have the skills, knowledge, and experience to help you successfully establish pollinator habitat under CRP.
Contact us today!