Pollinators are crucial to many of the Garden State’s agricultural crops and to New Jersey’s biodiversity. NRCS in New Jersey encourages farmers and landowners to consider pollinator populations when planning farming operations and land management.
Pollinators need two essential components in their habitat:
- flowers from which to gather nectar and pollen and
- places to nest.
Conservation practices such as field borders, cover crops, conservation cover, filter strips, critical area planting, tree/shrub planting and more can provide food (pollen and nectar) and nesting sites for local native pollinators and honey bees. Native plants are the best choices for conservation plantings because plants and their pollinators have evolved together over thousands of years.
Information on pollinator conservation, including which plants to use are provided in the New Jersey Biology Technical Note: Habitat Development for Pollinators.
Payments are available to farmers and landowners through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for implementation of pollinator conservation practices.
Whether you are producing fruits, vegetables, or both, it is beneficial to attract and protect native pollinators. This brochure provides some simple steps you can take to promote pollinator health and habitat and lists NRCS programs and resources available to help you with pollinator conservation and native plant restoration.
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Attracting Native Pollinators to Your Farm (905 kb)
CULTIVANDO PARA LOS POLINIZADORES (673 kb) new
As many as two-thirds of the world’s crop species depend on insects for pollination, and this may account for 15-30 percent of the food we consume. In the United States one third of all agricultural output depends on pollinators. More than 90 crops in North America depend upon bees for pollination. In New Jersey crops such as apples, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, pumpkins, cucumbers, squash and more depend upon insect pollination. The seeds of many forage crops used by New Jersey livestock producers such as clover and alfalfa require insect pollinators. Pollinators are also important to the function of many terrestrial ecosystems because they enhance native plant reproduction. Native plants provide food and cover for numerous wildlife species, and help stabilize the soil and improve water quality. As a group, pollinators are threatened worldwide by habitat loss and fragmentation, pesticides, disease, and parasites. This has serious economic implications for native ecosystem diversity and stability, for agricultural producers, and for all consumers of agricultural products.
---Excerpt from NRCS New Jersey Technical Note. Download the complete technical note below.
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NJ BIOLOGY TECHNICAL NOTE: Habitat Development for Pollinators (102 kb) - NRCS New Jersey Technical Note provides information and references on the issue of pollinators
Conservation Cover (327) for Pollinators - (Created in partnership with Xerces Society, NRCS, Rutgers) NEW
Hedgerow Planting for Pollinators - - (Created in partnership with Xerces Society, NRCS, Rutgers) NEW
Birds, bats, and insects are essential partners of farmers and ranchers in producing much of our food supply. Maintaining healthy pollinator populations is critical to the continued economic well-being of agricultural producers. Each June we celebrate Pollinator Week in recognition of the importance of pollinator species to agriculture and to forest and grassland environments and other ecosystems.
- NRCS National website: Insects and Pollinator
- Celebrating Pollinators - wildflowers, pollinators and posters (USDA Forest Service)
- Fact Sheets for Landowners and Growers from Xerces
- Why Pollinators are Important? (US Fish & Wildlife)
- Xerces Society Pollinator Conservation Program - publications, information for agriculture, gardening, parks, golf courses, and more
- Native Bee Benefits - How to increase native bee pollination on your farm in several simple steps - For Pennsylvania and New Jersey Farmers from Bryn Mawr College and Rutgers University, 2009 - downloadable file requires Adobe Acrobat - (1.3 mb)
- The Pollinator Partnership Free Pollinator Friendly Planting Guides: Enter your zip code to get region-specific recommendations. Invite pollinators to your neighborhood by planting a pollinator friendly habitat in your garden, farm, school, park or just about anywhere!
- The Nature Conservancy Pollinators webpage - Fact Sheets, NJ habitat loss maps and economic analysis of native pollinator benefits to NJ agriculture.
Odd areas and idle fields on farms can be used to create habitat for pollinators, such as the wildflower meadow pictured here, established near a hedgerow on a Hunterdon County farm.
Through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, NRCS in New Jersey offers landowners technical and financial assistance for restoring habitat for pollinators in the “early successional habitat” provision. Contact your local NRCS Office for more information about these programs.
Kelly Gill is available to provide technical support and training to NRCS, other conservation agencies, and farmers on the topics of pollinator conservation and native plant restoration.
This page was last updated May 18, 2016