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Don’t Know Where to Start Your Pollinator Project? Call the Pollinator Habitat Help Desk

Where are the monarchs now?

The southern migration is well under way, advancing at a pace such that the first monarchs will likely arrive at the overwintering sites in Mexico in time for the Day of the Dead (November 2). The number and sizes of overnight roosts reported to Journey North across the eastern US appear to be lower than in recent years, suggesting a smaller migration this year.  

As important stewards of the land, farmers can implement pollinator plantings or improved management on low-yield or non-crop areas that have a multitude of benefits. However, farmers interested in installing pollinator habitat on their land often don’t know where to begin researching or the appropriate plants or programs available to them.The Pollinator Habitat Help Desk is a free resource for farmers and other land managers to help them get started, expand, or continue supporting pollinator habitat on their lands.  

“We can get you started with a solution or program that works best for you, connect you with local partners, and help you get your projects underway,” said Jake Koenig, the Midwest Habitat Coordinator for Monarch Joint Venture, who manages the Pollinator Habitat Help Desk.

Farmers can call (337) 422-4828 to learn more about a variety of topics like seed mixes, site preparation and management, and various governmental and non-governmental technical assistance and cost-share programs like, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).  

“Optimizing every acre of pollinator habitat doesn’t always mean taking land out of production,” said Koenig. “There are actions you can take on your farm or ranch to improve habitat for pollinators and our goal is to help you find the things that work best for your operation.”

The Help Desk works directly with numerous farmers and ranchers across the country—each with specific needs and unique situations. 

“If farmers want to know about what it takes to grow, if they want to choose pollinators, Jake would be a guy you could definitely talk to, who has worked with CRP and has worked with pollinators,” said Chris Benes, a farmer in Nebraska who used the Pollinator Help Desk. “So he can answer your questions, as far as what you’re going to need to plant and what it will take.” 

“I don’t have time to research hundreds of different types of wildflowers and what’s going to do well here and what’s not. So, it was good to have him involved on that issue,” said Matt Bevington, a Nebraska landowner who contacted the Help Desk.  

If you want to do more for conservation and the pollinators on your farm, take the first step by reaching out to the Pollinator Habitat Help Desk at (337) 422-4828 (377-HABITAT) to get the conversation started.