The USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) provide financial and technical assistance to support conservation efforts for pollinators and other wildlife on farms. Conservation programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Grasslands Reserve Program, Wetlands Reserve Program, Conservation Stewardship Program, and Conservation Reserve Program all provide support for farmers who want to establish pollinator-friendly habitat on their land.
For information on these conservation programs, contact your local NRCS, FSA, or conservation district office. Find the office nearest you.
The Xerces Society and NRCS Partnership: Background
Since 2005, the Xerces Society has been honored to work closely with the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) to support pollinator conservation efforts throughout the United States. The NRCS is funded through the Federal Farm Bill to help farmers and ranchers conserve natural resources on their lands.
With support from the NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) program, Xerces has developed technical tools and demonstration sites on how to establish pollinator habitat in multiple regions of the U.S. CIG grants have also supported collaborations with university research partners to develop bee monitoring protocols and to measure how pollinator hedgerows and other conservation systems can increase populations of bees and other beneficial insects.
Xerces and the NRCS also share several joint pollinator specialist staff positions. These personnel are based at the NRCS National Technology Support Centers in Portland, OR and Greensboro, NC, and the Columbus, NJ NRCS field office.
Through these shared staff positions, Xerces Society scientists help NRCS staff conduct conservation planning for pollinators on farms nationwide. We also develop state and regional technical guides, including plant lists for supporting pollinators and beneficial insects, habitat assessment guides, habitat creation instructional manuals and forms, pesticide risk reduction guidelines, and technical notes on the conservation of other beneficial insects that help in crop pest management. See our Pollinator Conservation Resource Center for more links.
These shared staff positions and CIG grants have helped fund our work to train NRCS conservationists and partners. With support from the NRCS, as well as USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program, we have trained more than 2,000 NRCS employees since 2005, and more than 20,000 partners in other conservation agencies.
For More Information
The Xerces Society has a fact sheet that summarizes how the 2008 Farm Bill benefits pollinators, as well as a 16-page primer titled Using Farm Bill Programs for Pollinator Conservation. We encourage you to check out these resources to learn more about how the NRCS and FSA can help you conserve pollinators on your land.
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