Farmers greatly profit from pollinators, as they provide significant environmental benefits.
A farm organization discusses its role in building and maintaining pollinator habitats.
Various factors impact pollinators today, whether nature-made or man-made. However, several organizations are working to protect pollinators, as well as create habitats for them.
The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) works with the HoneyBee Health Coalition, Farmers for Monarchs and Environmental Defense Fund to ensure farmers are aware of the steps they can take to build and protect pollinator populations.
Bob Hemesath, an Iowa corn grower and chairman of NCGA’s Freedom to Operate Action Team, says NCGA takes pollinators seriously and looks forward to celebrating the importance of pollinators.
“Pollinator Week is a good time to emphasize the need for pollinators, and how important they are to crop production – all the things we grow,” Hemesath said. “It’s a week where we can highlight that, as well as the efforts being done to maintain pollinators.”
Furthermore, Pollinator Week is part of NCGA’s conservation and sustainability efforts.
“(The) NCGA has been working to promote conservation, as well as best management practices for a long time. We really stepped up (our efforts) as more information, research has become available for farmers,” Hemesath said. “This spring we rolled out ‘Best Management Practices for Pollinator Protection in Field Corn’. Those are some of the things farmers can use to help sustain pollinators and make sure the habitat for pollinators is alive and well.”
Hemesath says ensuring appropriate pollinator habitat is simple.
“A lot of the key things are small, like making sure you’re in communication with beekeepers around you to ensure you’re following best management practices. Be careful when you’re cleaning out planters. Maybe (don’t) mow wildflowers and milkweed. Let them go, so the pollinators have a habitat,” Hemesath said.
Learn how to protect pollinators at www.ncga.com.