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Pollinator Week! Creating and Enhancing Habitat for Pollinators

A photo of the Tucson Plant Materials Center pollinator trial with different study plots designated with flags.Pollinator Week, celebrated June 20-26, is an annual international event in support of pollinator health. Pollinator habitats are critical and support a diversity of beetles, flies, bees, butterflies, and other pollinators that in turn support agriculture and enhance our daily lives. Leading threats to pollinators include changes in land use, pesticides, invasive species, disease, and climate change. USDA-NRCS Plant Materials Centers are working to evaluate plants and provide recommendations on plants which will enhance pollinator populations throughout the growing season. These wildflowers, trees, shrubs, and grasses are an integral part of the conservation practices that landowners, farmers, and ranchers can install as part of their conservation plan. The NRCS Plant Materials Program has a resource guide on the pollinator value of 90 native forbs, wildflowers and legumes selected by the Plant Materials Centers and available from commercial producers that are used for improving pollinator habitat.

“What makes a good pollinator seeding mix?” is a common question, no matter where you are in the country. Pollinator plantings with a mix of annual and perennial species with different flower colors, shapes, and bloom times extend the floral resource window and help stabilize pollinator populations. This and other questions about establishing pollinator habitat can be found at this question-and-answer session with one of our experts. The Plant Materials Program has lots of information available on pollinator habitat and many publications related to pollinators.

Here are some highlights of available pollinator information from the Plant Materials Program:

Technical information and guidance on the use of conservation plants to address resource concerns is available on the Plant Materials Program website or contact the nearest Plant Materials Center or plant materials specialist. For additional information on species of plants mentioned, please see the USDA PLANTS database.