(Posted Wed. Feb 12th, 2020)
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 organization’s Production Technology Access Action Team, says BBHF provides a short cut to establishing quality habitat because they work with producers to determine what their needs and objectives are, provide a plan, and seed, to develop pollinator habitat.
“We were putting some pollinator habitat in ourselves as a border on what happened to be organic production that we had, and the amount of beekeepers that we didn’t realize we had around, and we realized, okay, this is an important step to take,” Hunnicutt said. “I personally looked through the process of what the Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund is doing, the guidance they provide. Farmers just have to be willing to take a little to locate spots that might be advantageous to them, their neighbors and pollinators.”
Berthelsen says the application process is simple and can be done online. His organization will help farmers through each step towards creating pollinator habitats to help them meet their objectives. BBHF is currently looking for participants in the following states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.