For 82 years, Winona County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) has been working to conserve natural resources for all generations. Winona County SWCD wants to remind you that each individual has a responsibility to conserve natural resources for the next generation. In partnership with the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD), the Winona County SWCD is celebrating the 65th year of Stewardship Week from April 26 to May 3, focusing on the theme “Where Would We BEE Without Pollinators?”
Did you know that agricultural crops rely on pollinators for reproduction? These crops include soybeans, alfalfa, potatoes and sunflowers. Don’t forget that the majority of vegetable, fruit, nut and berry plants need pollinators as well. Most of these crops bloom in early summer, leaving your pollinators without food for much of the early spring, late summer and fall. Consequently, pollinators are dwindling in agricultural settings.
During Stewardship Week, Winona County SWCD challenges you to incorporate native pollinator habitat in your yard, garden or around your property. Help pollinators continue to “BEE” be the foundation of a healthy and sustainable future for crops, food and the environment.
Federal and state programs are available to assist with incorporating pollinator habitat throughout the landscape. You are not too late to apply for Continuous Conservation Reserve Programs (CRP). The practice, prairie strips, is available through CRP to install strips of pollinator habitat around the edges of fields and through fields along the contour. By planting small pollinator plots or strips in strategic locations, you can provide adequate habitat for your pollinators. The CRP is one program which can be used to assist landowners with installing pollinator habitat and receive an annual income to compensate acreage converted from cropland.
For more information about soil and water conservation or how the SWCD can assist you in maintaining or developing habitat for pollinators, contact the Winona County SWCD at 507-523-2171, extension three, and at www.winonaswcd.org.
Free, downloadable Stewardship Week resources celebrating the theme “Where Would We BEE Without Pollinators?” are available on NACD’s website at /www.nacdnet.org/store/.