Wildflower plantings for pollination, pest control and profit

July 2 meeting will teach how to set up, maintain and pay for wildflower plantings to support bees and natural enemies.

MSU Extension is hosting an evening meeting to teach growers how to establish and manage wildflower plantings to help support native bees and natural enemy insects, and the pollination and pest control services they provide. This free meeting (see flyer) will provide valuable information from ongoing MSU research, funded by USDA-SARE and Operation Pollinator.

This meeting will highlight mature plots planted with plugs (small plants) and plantings seeded with annual and perennial native seeds. We will then travel to a nearby blueberry farm to explore a 3-year-old wildflower planting and discuss the results of on-farm research. Presentations will include an introduction to the use of flowering plants to support natural enemies and pollinators, results from ongoing research to compare wildflower mixes, establishment and maintenance of wildflower plantings, results from commercial farms, and cost sharing opportunities to establish beneficial insect habitats.

The meeting will be held on Monday, July 2, starting with registration and food at 5:30 p.m. at the Trevor Nichols Research Center, 6237 124th Avenue, Fennville, Mich. (see map and directions). The meeting will conclude at 8 p.m. at the farm demonstration site we will travel to in Grand Junction, Mich.

Please RSVP to Judy Hanson at the Ottawa County Extension Office at 616-994-4548 by June 28 to register for this free meeting. For more information, contact Brett Blaauw or Rufus Isaacs.

Dr. Isaacs’ work is funded in part by MSU’s AgBioResearch.

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