Pollinator Habitat Incentive for Crop Consultants

Pollinator Habitat Incentive for Crop Consultants

A one-time cash incentive for crop consultants who advise clients to establish pollinator habitat on underperforming cropland.

Incentive amount: $1,000

Eligible recipients: Private-sector crop advisors (ASA or NAICC certified)

Eligible geography: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin

Eligible land: Private agricultural land planted to row crops in 2018

Habitat site size: 1 acre or larger

Seeding deadline: Fall 2019

CLICK HERE to apply and submit your application form via email to Craig Ficenec, Sand County Foundation Program Director at cficenec@sandcountyfoundation.org. Questions? Give Craig a call at 608.663.4605 ext. 22

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until all funds are committed. Sand County Foundation will notify applicants within two weeks of receiving an application. Qualifying applicants will receive a $1,000 incentive payment once seeding has been completed on their client’s farm.

Insect pollinators are essential for food production and ecological diversity, but their populations are at risk. Beekeepers are losing honey bee colonies, wild bee species are in decline, and the number of monarch butterflies making their impressive annual migration has dropped dramatically in recent years.

A leading cause for the decline of bees and monarchs is habitat loss, especially within the Corn Belt. All nectar-feeding insects require a diversity of forbs to survive, and monarchs also require milkweed in order to reproduce. Pollinator gardens in urban areas provide valuable habitat, but are not sufficient by themselves to recover pollinator populations. Habitat enhancement among rural working lands—especially agricultural land in the Midwest—is crucial to help these species rebound.

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To this end, Sand County Foundation seeks private-sector crop consultants (CCAs and/or CPCCs) who are willing to help their clients to create pollinator habitat on underperforming cropland. The goal of this program is to convert small unprofitable areas of farm fields into permanent native vegetation for the benefit of pollinators.

Crop consultants increasingly utilize information technologies to measure farm profitability at sub-field scale. These efforts to maximize return on investment can also provide ecosystem benefits. Where unprofitable land will be coming out of production, we encourage crop consultants to take an additional step: help the farmers they serve to establish diverse, perennial native vegetation with high habitat value to pollinators and monarchs.

This unique incentive program will help support crop consultants who aspire to make pollinator habitat establishment a part of the professional services they offer. Incentive payments will go directly to the CCA/CPCC, and are independent of any other financial incentive programs used by their client. The farm owner/operator is free to utilize other incentive programs for the same pollinator habitat site as they desire.

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Consultants must provide, or secure via a third party, appropriate consultation to the farm operator or owner including site and seed mix selection, site preparation, seeding, and post-seeding management. A list of available resources is provided in the application form. Seeding must be completed in the fall of 2019.

This program is made possible by funding to Sand County Foundation from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund.

The Pillars of Great Pollinator Habitat Design and Management Webinar

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