Skip Navigation

Pollinator and Beneficial Insects for Mid-Columbia Basin Fruit Crops

County or Counties: Wasco and Hood River

Primary Resource Concern Addressed: INADEQUATE HABITAT FOR FISH AND WILDLIFE - Habitat Degradation
 

Project Description

This project seeks to address the wildlife resource concerns of inadequate cover/shelter, inadequate food and water, and habitat fragmentation by restoring, enhancing, and protecting habitat for pollinators and beneficial insects. Growers in the region also want to address other conservation and farm production goals at the same time, including replacing invasive species with native pollinator habitat, installing hedgerows, planting field borders with pollinator habitat, and planting cover crops.  Specific examples provided by landowners during the local workgroup meeting included: removing Himalayan blackberry, which is both invasive and an alternative host for economically important crop pests, and replacing these stands with habitat designed to support beneficial insects; installing hedgerows for both aesthetic and habitat reasons; planting cover crops to improve soil heath, reduce erosion and support pollinators; replacing tall stands of invasive vegetation with shorter stands of vegetation that improve air drainage and provide valuable pollinator habitat; and thinning or pushing back forest edges to improve light on orchards, reduce catastrophic fire risk, and improve pollinator habitat.

Conservation Practices Offered

  • Hedgerow Planting
  • Conservation Cover
  • Cover Crop
  • Field Border
  • Irrigation System, Microirrigation
  • Mulching
  • Obstruction Removal
  • Access Control
  • Herbaceous Weed Control
  • Tree/Shrub Site Preparation
  • Brush Management
  • Tree/Shrub Establishment
  • Pest Management
  • Wildlife Habitat Planting
  • Upland Wildlife Habitat Management
  • Structures for Wildlife

Project Partners

  • Hood River Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Wasco Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation
  • Oregon Bee Project
  • OSU Cooperative Extension Service
  • Farmers Conservation Alliance

Local EQIP Ranking Questions

NRCS uses these questions to evaluate eligible applications for this project and to prioritize applications for potential funding. State and national ranking questions also apply. See more information on the EQIP program page.

Screening Questions

  1. If the applicant has had a contract terminated due to non-compliance within the last five years or has an existing contract out of compliance, this application is LOW PRIORITY.
     
  2. Is the application for the development of a Conservation Plan or implementation of Conservation Practices inside of the identified focus area? HIGH PRIORITY.
     
  3. Is the application for the development of a Conservation Plan or implementation of Conservation Practices adjacent to the identified focus area? MEDIUM PRIORITY.

 

Ranking Questions

1a. 25% to 50% of project area is within 500’ of area cropped in tree fruit, berries or grapes.

1b. 50% to 75% of project area is within 500’ of area cropped in tree fruit, berries or grapes

1c. 75% to 100% of project area is within 500’ of area cropped in tree fruit, berries or grapes.

2.  Project designed to provide pollen and nectar in early spring (pre crop bloom)

3. Project designed to provide pollen and nectar in late spring (post crop bloom)
4.  Application is for planned project that offers a beneficial insect habitat refuge from pesticide sprays.
5. Application is for planned practices that provides a barrier or other protection from pesticide drift onto pollinator habitat.
6. Application is for planned practices that implements an overall pest management plan with reduced risks for pollinators or other beneficial insects.
7.  Application is for planned practices that include the use of cover crop in lieu of soil fumigation.
8.  Application is for planned practices designed to provide or protect nesting habitat for ground-nesting and/or tunnel-nesting solidary bees.
9. Application is for planned practices designed to provide or protect nesting habitat for bumble bees.
10.  Application is for planned practices that have at least a 5 year lifespan.