The University of Minnesota will evaluate twelve cover crop rotations for vegetable systems and quantify the impact on and potential habitat improvement for pollinators.
SAINT PAUL, Minnesota, December 17, 2019 – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is awarding about $12.5 million in grants nationally to support the development of innovative systems and technologies for private lands conservation, including Pollinator Habitat in Minnesota.
The funding is provided through the Conservation Innovation Grants program, which is funding the future of agriculture and conservation through grants to organizations and universities that are developing the next generation of tools and technologies to boost conservation on agricultural lands.
“CIG projects are tackling some of our most critical challenges – both here in Minnesota and across the country, said NRCS state conservationist Troy Daniell.
The 2019 funding pool focused on four priority areas: water quantity, urban agriculture, pollinator habitat, and accelerating the pace and scale of conservation adoption. NRCS selected 19 projects for CIG awards.
The University of Minnesota project will determine the best summer cover crop conservation benefits for improved vegetable production. The University will evaluate twelve cover crop rotations for vegetable systems and quantify the impact on, and potential habitat improvement, for pollinators. Data will be collected on cover crop flowering time and beneficial insect species richness and abundance during flowering. The project will assess the impact of increasing pollinator services on farmer profitability and the effect of the cover crops on nitrogen use.