Hedgerows for pollinators workshop

Published By Daily Democrat
September 2, 2011

A hedgerow planting is both a beneficial and beautiful addition to the rural landscape of Yolo County.Farmers and landowners interested in installing or improving hedgerows on their property may be interested in a workshop at Oakdale Ranch in Esparto on Thursday, Sept. 8.

The Yolo County Resource Conservation District is sponsoring the workshop which is free and open to the public.

A hedgerow is a line or group of trees, shrubs, forbs, or grasses that are planted along field edges. In Europe, hedgerows have been part of the rural countryside for hundreds of years.

Here in Yolo County, many innovative farmers over the last several decades have recognized the benefits of hedgerows and have been planting them along their roads and field borders. Using mostly California native plants, established hedgerows generally require little if any irrigation and minimal maintenance.

They perform a variety of beneficial services such as soil and nutrient retention, and can reduce air, water, and noise pollution. Insectary hedgerows, designed to produce a succession of blooms that create foraging habitat for beneficial insects, can support a variety of insects that predate on crop pests and a diverse population of native pollinators.

Workshop participants will hear the latest information on native bee contributions to crop production from Jessa Guisse, Pollinator Habitat Restoration Specialist for The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. Rachael Long, farm adviser at UC Cooperative Extension, will discuss her research on beneficial insect use of hedgerows.

The Natural Resource Conservation Service will provide an update on their current incentive programs to help farmers cover the costs of hedgerow installations.

Experts including John Anderson of Hedgerow Farms and Taylor Lewis of Cornflower Farms, will discuss species selection for insectary hedgerows. Site preparation, installation, and establishment techniques will also be covered. The workshop will include a walking tour of a mature hedgerow.

The workshop will be held outdoors under shade and will run from 7:45 a.m. to noon. Certified Crop Adviser CEUs may be offered. A detailed workshop program is on the Yolo RCD website at www.yolorcd.org. For more information and to register for this workshop, please contact the Yolo RCD at 662-2037, ext. 117

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