IVM and Pollinator Protection

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Bee on a flower

As the natural and man-made threats against pollinator species like the monarch butterfly continue to make headlines, vegetation managers are likely hearing more about early successional habitat (ESH) and the role it plays in sustaining the world’s pollinator population. But what is ESH and, more importantly, what can vegetation managers do to create, maintain and protect it?

Early successional plants are those that pop up immediately after a soil disturbance, and may include invasive, non-native or other undesirable weed or brush species. But the term early successional habitat implies a specific mix of grasses, forbs and groundcovers that are native to the region, and that serve as prime habitat for native or migratory pollinator species.

Managing for the development of ESH is, in theory, no different than managing for a single species like bermudagrass. A well-planned, well-executed integrated vegetation management (IVM) program using selective herbicides and application methods in addition to necessary mechanical controls like mowing can allow native vegetation to flourish, enabling the development of ESH while preventing the growth and spread of undesirable species. In addition, IVM-based programs have repeatedly been proven to reduce carbon emissions and vegetation management expenses while improving overall program efficacy.

Taking the First Steps

Managing roadsides or rights-of-way for pollinator habitat can be complicated. That’s why you need a partner who can not only provide selective herbicides that will allow native vegetation to flourish, but who has the expertise to help guide you along the way. 

As a supporter of State Game Lands 33 and other research projects devoted to evaluating best practices in vegetation management, Corteva Agriscience is committed to helping vegetation managers better understand and more effectively implement IVM practices on the lands they steward. 

To learn more about how an integrated vegetation management program can help you control roadside vegetation and enhance critical native habitat, or to connect with your local Corteva vegetation management specialist, visit HabitatWithHerbicides.com.


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