NRCS, Landowners and Partners are Boosting Pollinator Populations

Secretary Tom Vilsack has proclaimed June 17-23, 2013 as National Pollinator Week.

Pollinators play a crucial role in the reproduction of many plants, including many of the plants that provide our nation’s food, fiber, fuel and medicine.  But despite their value, many pollinator species are in trouble.  In an effort to fight population declines, NRCS is working with private landowners to establish habitat for pollinators through conservation.

More than three-fourths of the world's flowering plants rely on pollinators to reproduce, equating to one of every three bites of food people eat.  Many plants would be unable to reproduce without the help of pollinators.

The 2008 Farm Bill made pollinators a priority resource concern for the USDA conservation programs and NRCS is incorporating pollinators into conservation planning nationwide.  NRCS supports pollinators by working with private landowners to establish habitat, which provides both food and sanctuary for bees and other pollinators.

There are 37 conservation practices in the 2008 Farm Bill that, when implemented, can benefit pollinator habitat. Agricultural producers work with NRCS to create ideal habitat for pollinators and increase populations in simple and significant ways. 

Under the 2008 Farm Bill (fiscal years 2009-2012), there have been more than 533 occurrences of conservation practices installed on 12,153 acres which could support pollinator habitat in Maine: conservation cover—  40 acres; field border—4 acres; upland wildlife habitat management—14,422 acres; and early successional habitat development/management—4,622 acres.