INDIANAPOLIS — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural
Resources Conservation Service offers practices to help Hoosier farmers create
pollinator habitat, harnessing their value to production.
The NRCS is promoting the importance of pollinators, such as
bees, butterflies, bats and hummingbirds. Pollinators provide essential
assistance to fruit, vegetable and seed crops, but many species are seeing their
numbers fall, said NRCS State Conservationist Jane Hardisty.
“Making room for pollinators on your land isn’t too
difficult or expensive, and NRCS wants to help you make those improvements that
will not only benefit pollinators, but help your land, as well,” she
Agricultural producers and other private landowners across
Indiana work with the NRCS to create ideal habitat for pollinators and increase
populations in simple and significant ways.
Field borders, hedgerows and conservation cover are just
three of 37 practices that the NRCS offers through the farm bill to help
producers create the perfect places for pollinators to feed and take
More than three-fourths of the world’s flowering plants rely
on pollinators to reproduce – or, to put it another way, one of every three
bites of food people eat. Many plants would be unable to reproduce without the
help of pollinators, Hardisty said.
“Bees and other pollinators help keep the whole environment
healthy, and that’s why thousands of producers have worked to attract them to
their land,” she explained. “When you create habitat for pollinators, you also
provide habitat for other wildlife, reduce soil erosion and improve water
Scientists point out a number of factors, including habitat
loss, disease, parasites and overuse of pesticides for the drop in pollinator