Available for free, “Cover Cropping for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects,” is a new bulletin from Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) to help growers make thoughtful changes in cover crop selection and management that support pollinators, along with their other goals.
Pollinators provide a critical service in food production. As honeybees continue to suffer from Colony Collapse Disorder, providing pollinators a healthy on-farm environment is essential. In October, the USDA-NRCS announced $4 million in assistance for Midwestern farmers to plant bee-friendly cover crops, wildflowers and native grasses to help ensure farm productivity.
“Cover Cropping for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects” includes information on pollinator and beneficial insect ecology, including details on common cover crop species and their insect attractiveness. It also addresses the limitations of cover crops, describes relevant crop insurance regulations and gives guidance on reducing harm to beneficial insects when cover crops are used in rotation with pesticide-treated crops.
“Cover Cropping for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects” can be ordered for use as a handout at conferences, workshops or field days. It was written by Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation staff members, with contributions from the NRCS.