The Power of Pollinators – BeSure! to Protect Them
The Growing Matters coalition is reminding producers and applicators of the importance of pollinators and providing key tips to keep them, and other wildlife, safe throughout the growing season.
While pollinators are easy to miss, their impact on our food supply — and our crops — is harder to overlook. Honey bees and other insect pollinators provide a vital pollination service to millions of acres of crops across the country. Proper pesticide use and good stewardship practices can help protect pollinators and other wildlife.
Throughout the growing season, farmers and applicators can take these steps to help maximize product potential while also being good stewards to the environment:
- Cooperate and communicate with other landowners, applicators/farmers, beekeepers and crop advisors in the area before making an application.
- Locate hives near your field and make a plan with local beekeepers prior to treatment.
- Establish appropriate buffer zones between treatment areas and insect pollinator habitats or hives. The product label will outline buffer requirements.
Listen as Caydee Savinelli, pollinator and stewardship team lead, discusses pollinator protection practices with Brownfield Ag News as a part of last year’s BeSure! campaign.
Some products should not be used on blooming crops or weeds when bees are foraging in or near the treatment area. Before spraying, scout the field to look for flowers, removing them when possible or adjusting your application schedule to accommodate for forage times.
Different crops have different bloom stages and levels of pollinator attractiveness. To avoid accidental pesticide exposure to insect pollinators, observe the application timing on the label.
There are tools to help track and monitor applications and bees in your area. Utilize FieldWatch® or BeeCheck™ to enhance communications and stewardship activities – both of which lead to improved biodiversity. Reach out to your local extension agents and departments of agriculture to see if your state has a pollinator program you can access.
For additional information about product stewardship, please visit www.growingmatters.org/besure.
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