Kansas farmers and ranchers are well aware of the key role that pollinators such as bees and butterflies play in the growing of crops for human and animal food.
Unfortunately, a growing population, urban sprawl and even farming practices such as the use of insecticides to kill harmful bugs, are all contributing to making life difficult for these helpful creatures.
Kansas farmers and ranchers can get help creating ideal habitat for pollinators and helping to increase their populations across the state from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service.
More than 35 conservation practices are supported by NRCS through the Farm Bill, helping make survival a little easier for the critters that help fruit, vegetable and seed crops thrive.
"Making room for pollinators on your farm or ranch 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," said Daniel H. Meyerhoff, acting state conservationist for Kansas.
Pollinators play a key role
One of every three bites of food people eat got some help on the journey from field to plate by a pollinator, Meyerhoff said. Many flowering plants would not be able to bear fruit pollinators disappeared from fields.
NRCS biologist Andrew Burr said that creating habitat to help pollinators thrive is not difficult and has added benefits in that it also produces wildlife habitat, reduces soil erosion and helps keep contaminants out of surface water supplies.
Scientists attribute a number of factors, including habitat loss, disease, parasites, and overuse of pesticides for pollinators' peril. Learn more at the NRCS website.
For more information about NRCS and its programs, stop by your local USDA Service Center or go to the website.
Source: Natural Resources Conservation Service