The U.S. Department of Agriculture has recently announced the availability of $3 million to protect vulnerable pollinators through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). These targeted funds will support conservation practices that both foster environmental benefits and provide habitat and forage for pollinating species. The funds will be available to farmers located in the Midwest states of Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin for both technical and financial assistance to improve the health of honey bees. These states were chosen because the Midwest serves as the summer resting ground for roughly 65% of the commercially raised honey bees in the U.S. Honey bees are responsible for pollinating many of the fruits and vegetables that are mainstays in the American food supply and, according to the USDA, collectively support approximately $15 billion worth of agricultural production.
La Crosse Seed is now offering two different mixes formulated specifically to meet the requirements of the pollinator programs in all five states. “As a trusted provider of small seed to the upper Midwest for nearly 70 years, we felt it our obligation to communicate with the five states cooperating with this initiative and offer these mixes based off their recommendations,” says Scott Wohltman, Cover Crop Lead for La Crosse Seed. “We think farmers and landowners will be eager to devote acres to this program. Bees and other pollinators are responsible for aiding and expanding many of the forage and conservation seeds utilized in our region. It only makes sense to have these mixes available to the landowners who want to make a difference.”
To download a technical sheet on the mixes, click here.