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KRC's Farming Practices that Benefit Pollinators
07/17/2017
 

The Kansas Rural Center (KRC) will host a "Farming Practices that Benefit Pollinators (and a Whole Lot More!)" farm tour and workshop on Wednesday, July 26, from 9 am to 4:30 pm, in Holton, Kansas. The event will provide information about the impacts of neonicotinoid pesticides on pollinators, the efficacy of neonicotinoids on Kansas crops, and farming strategies and practices that can reduce or eliminate the need for neonicotinoid seed treatments and other pesticides.
 
Four Kansas farmers who are successfully utilizing farming practices that benefit pollinators will explain how and why they farm the way they do. Farmers Gail Fuller, Robin Griffeth, Shane New and Lucinda Stuenkel will discuss strategies they use to increase biodiversity, soil health, and water and air quality on their farms, and how they transitioned towards farming practices that benefit pollinators and a whole lot more! Don't miss the opportunity to learn from these four innovative farmers.
 
The cost to attend the workshop and farm tour is $15, which will cover lunch, snacks, beverages, and resources on farming for pollinators.
 
For more information and a complete agenda, or to register to reserve your spot, please visit https://kansasruralcenter.org/farming-for-pollinators/.
 
The day will begin at 9 am with a tour of Shane New's farm, near Holton, Kansas. The tour will provide an up-close look at a farm that thrives utilizing a range of practices that increase soil health, improve water and air quality, provide habitat and resources for pollinators and others, and ultimately, benefit human health.
 
Lunch and an afternoon workshop focusing on strategies for farming with fewer pesticides and the benefits that farming with fewer pesticides has for pollinators, farmers and others, will be held at the EUM Family Life Center, 227 Pennsylvania Avenue, Holton. Lunch will be served at 11:30 am, with the afternoon programming starting at 12:00 pm.
 
In addition to the panel of farmers who will talk about the farming practices they utilize to create healthy and dynamic ecosystems on their farms, Sarah N. Zukoff, PhD, Department of Entomology, Kansas State University, Southwest Research and Extension Center, and co-author of the report, "The Effectiveness of Neonicotinoid Seed Treatments in Soybeans," will provide information on the efficacy of neonicotinoid pesticides on Kansas crops. Zukoff will also discuss how attracting beneficial insects to your farm can reduce or eliminate the need for pesticide use, and will provide information on how to attract beneficial insects to your farm.
 
Joanna Voigt, KRC Pollinator Programming Coordinator, will talk about the impacts of neonicotinoid pesticides on pollinators and availability of non-coated seeds.
 
Angela Anderson, Kansas Wildlife Federation, will provide an update on a resolution she authored aimed at restricting neonicotinoid use, which has been accepted by the National Wildlife Federation.
 
Resources on how to implement farming practices that benefit pollinators and reduce pesticide use will be provided.
 
Monoculture agriculture plays a large role in pollinator decline through destruction of habitat and widespread use of pesticides that harm pollinators. Recent, sharp increases in the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, which are used as seed treatments on corn, soy, sunflowers, cotton, canola and other crops, have coincided with sudden and rapid declines in pollinator populations. While these agricultural practices can be detrimental to pollinators, there are a host of agricultural practices and strategies that benefit and protect pollinators. Farming practices that reduce disturbance of the soil, diversify vegetation, and increase diversity overall - such as adding cover crops, providing habitat for beneficial insects, expanding crop rotations, and leaving areas of natural habitat  - provide resources for pollinator populations, helping to boost and protect them.
 
Don't miss the opportunity to come and learn what you can do for pollinators on your farm! Register today to reserve your space at https://kansasruralcenter.org/farming-for-pollinators/. Or contact Joanna Voigt at jvoigt@kansasruralcenter.org or 866-579-5469.
 
This workshop is being held with funding received from the Ceres Trust to carry out work to protect pollinators from the harms of pesticides.  
 

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