Pollinator Habitat Tips:
The monarchs are on their way to Mexico! Sightings of southbound monarchs and the first overnight roosts are clear signs that migration is underway.
When you see a monarch, report your observations here: http://bit.ly/1i4b6RO.
Pollination and pollinator species are crucial to our worlds food supply. An estimated 75% to 90% of all flowering plants in the world require pollinators to reproduce. In the U.S. alone, the value of honey bees to agriculture is estimated at between $14.6 and $18.9 Billion per year! Because of this, the 2008 Farm Bill mandated that USDA conservation programs be used to restore and or manage for pollinator habitat.
1 – More is Better: When designing great pollinator habitat, make sure to include as many different species in your mixture as possible. That way, you’re more likely to have something flowering throughout the year. A good rule of thumb is to use 30 or more different species in your pollinator mixture.
2 – More Species Doesn’t Have to Cost More: Your pollinator seed mix should be designed based on the number of seeds that will be planted per square foot of ground. Since most wildflower species have relatively small seeds….they go a long ways! When properly designed, pollinator seed mixes with 30 to 60 species in them should be no more expensive than a diverse grass and forb mixture like what is commonly planted on CRP.
3 – Plan For The Entire Year: Great pollinator habitat needs to include species that are flowering from early spring all the way through late fall. A mixture that doesn’t plan for the entire year (April to October) or include flowers of different colors, sizes and shapes will not be meeting the habitat needs for pollinator success.
4 – Increase Your Odds of Enrolling in CRP: With the increased emphasis on pollinator habitat in the country, the USDA is providing landowners with additional points on their CRP score when they agree to plant a portion of their contract to pollinator habitat. This is a great way to increase your CRP score, provide great wildlife habitat and provide a habitat need that benefits agriculture and food supplies.
5 – Ask The Experts: Great Pollinator Habitat = Great Pheasant and Quail Habitat. Your local wildlife biologist can provide great suggestions on what species do well in your area and for your soil type. PF and QF wildlife biologists are ready and willing to help you out…..contact one today for help providing the seed and designing your pollinator habitat project.
Pollinator Habitat Guides