COMING FALL 2018
Written and Directed by MATHEW SCHMID
Produced and Edited by LEILA CONNERS
Executive Producers GEORGE DICAPRIO & LAURA COX
CHALLENGES FOR FARMS
Working with farmers and ranchers to help pollinators on America’s agricultural lands.
Farmers and ranchers can manage their working lands to benefit pollinators while helping their bottom line.
Management that’s good for pollinators is good for the farm.
Pollinators play a key role in healthy agricultural landscapes. When private landowners increase and improve the quality of their insect-pollinated crop yields and the health and vigor of their landscape it will also lead to higher and sustainable profits.
Conservation programs help farmers and ranchers adopt a wide variety of practices that are designed for pollinators by creating and enhancing and managing habitat for animal diversity.
Good pollinator habitat consists of healthy stands of high-value pollen and nectar plants. Some pollinators have additional habitat needs.
More than two-thirds of the continental United States is privately owned, meaning the land management decisions of farmers and ranchers has huge impacts on the American land and wildlife, including pollinators.
Many stewardship options for all types of agricultural operations are available – from croplands to grazing lands, and working forests to wetlands.
Farmers to integrate pollinator-friendly tweaks on their crop land, such as hedgerows and field borders and selective retirement of lands with higher conservation value and lesser agricultural value. This attracts pollinators to come pollinate crops.
Producers to manage for more diversity on grazing lands, which provides top-notch forage for livestock and habitat for pollinators.
Producers of working forests can manage for more diverse and healthy forests. As part of management, landowners will thin forests, and the sunlight hitting the ground results in many wildflowers and forbs that pollinators need.
Producers can restore and protect wetlands, which includes managing against invasive enabling native wildflowers and other plants to thrive. These restored wetlands also lure many other wildlife species and can increase the recreational value of the land.
Other USDA programs – including farm loans and safety net programs – help farms thrive, rebound and expand, which in turn, can yield a landscape that benefits pollinators.
Farmers can take on large habitat plantings, or make simple and inexpensive tweaks on working lands, such as limiting or changing pesticide use or allowing forage legumes to flower in pastures. Altogether, the range of available practices can provide monumental benefits to pollinators and a variety of other beneficial insects and wildlife.