Sunday, February 25, 2024

NCGA partnership focuses on pollinator habitats

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ST. LOUIS — The National Corn Growers Association has announced its partnership — funded by NCGA’s Production Technology Access Action Team — with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever. This new collaboration will focus on increasing pollinator and wildlife habitats in corn-producing states. Initially, the partnership will focus on corn producers in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, with room for expansion down the road.

“Pollinator health is a leading sustainability issue in 21st-century agriculture,” said Ohio grower and PTAAT Vice Chair Patty Mann. “As public interest in pollinator health continues to increase, stakeholders in this discussion – our members and producers nationwide – have a critical role to play for implementation. By partnering with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, NCGA can assist growers with profitability and sustainability measures on their farms for win-win scenarios.”

Pollinators are essential to the health of upland bird habitat and supporting the broader ecosystem across corn-growing areas, which in turn, also supports the long-term prosperity of corn growers. When pollinator habitat is made a priority, farmers often also see soil and water improvements in developed areas of their property.

“NCGA looks forward to building this partnership to support long-term pollinator health,” said Mann.

Pollinating insects are an essential component in global food production. Approximately one-third of all food and beverage products need pollination, yet many species of native pollinators and domesticated honeybees are in decline. Habitat that provides a diverse mixture of native flowering plants of different colors, shapes and sizes is what’s needed to support the life cycle of many pollinator species.

“Not only is pollinator habitat good for the bees, butterflies and beetles, but it’s also excellent brood-rearing habitat for pheasants, quail and grassland songbirds,” said Chris Kallis, the director of corporate partnerships at Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever. “Pollinator habitat attracts soft-bodied insects that pheasant chicks and other ground-nesting chicks rely on for survival during the first 6-8 weeks of life. Through this new partnership with the NCGA, we can simultaneously support pollinators, pheasant broods and an increased bottom line for corn producers.”

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