Native plants play a critical role in creating a balanced ecosystem and by planting them on your CRP land you’re helping the local environment thrive. These plants aid in climate control, regulate pest populations and improve soil conditions.
The benefits of these native plants to both people and wildlife are great and varied. Below are some of our favorite reasons to plant native.
Native plants rarely need fertilization.
Excess use of fertilizers can cause runoff into lakes and rivers, polluting the water. These fertilizers cause excessive algae growth which depletes oxygen in our waters, harms aquatic life, and interferes with human consumption.
Native plants use less pesticides.
Native plants tend to have natural defenses to local pests, minimizing the need for chemical pesticides. Pesticide runoff can contaminate nearby water sources and can cause harm to people and animals.
Native plants use less water.
Native plants can conserve water resources more efficiently than nonnative plants because they are adapted to the local environment and tend to have deep root systems. The deep root systems of many native plants increase the soil’s capacity to store water and can significantly reduce water runoff and, consequently, flooding and erosion.
Native plants keep the air cleaner.
All plants remove carbon dioxide from the air and store carbon, but the deep root systems of native plants make them much more efficient at storing carbon than their non-native counterparts. Carbon dioxide is a major contributor to global warming.
Native plants provide shelter and food for wildlife and support pollinators.
Native plants attract a variety of birds, butterflies, and other wildlife by providing diverse habitats and food sources. Increasing the natural habitats for these pollinator species allows them to thrive on your property.
Native plants promote biodiversity.
The plants in your field can have a great impact on biodiversity, and native plants provide the greatest benefit to the environment. Native plants promote a diverse landscape of plants and animals which encourages functioning ecosystems that supply oxygen, clean air and water, pollination of plants, and pest control.