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Pollinator mix cover crop attracting more than just bees

Bryce Drummond, left, McCain Fertilizer territorial manager, familiarizes Ashton Perry, Crop Management for WP Griffin Inc. and Colton Griffin, co-owner of the Elmsdale company, with some of the varieties of plants in the pollinator mix McCains has supplied. – As it sways in the breeze on a hot summer’s day a field of purple is catching the eye of motorists travelling along Highway 2 in Rosebank. The field, behind the Rosebank church, is abuzz with colour and bees, just how staff at WP Griffin Inc. envisioned it when they sowed in a pollinator mix more than two months ago. Farm manager, Troy Smallman, said he was so impressed with a small field trial McCain Fertilizer displayed last year that he just had to try it. “You’d walk over to it. You couldn’t really notice anything at first,” he said of the five by 15foot test plot he viewed last year.
“But whenever you got close and looking at it, it was just alive with different species of bees. It was just moving.” Since the tallest plant in the mixture came out in blossom in the recently, both the Elmsdalebased farming operation and the Bloomfield branch of McCain Fertilizer have fielded several calls from farmers and passersby wondering what was planted in the two fields by the church. The pollinator mix which includes timothy, wildcat doublecut red clover, yellow blossom sweet clover, Bruce birdsfoot trefoil and phacelia is meant, to attract bees while in blossom and then to be cut down to add nutrients to the soil. It is the phacelia that’s responsible for the purple cast across the 13 to 14 acres of pollinator mix Griffin have growing in two fields in Rosebank.

Journal Pioneer - Eric McCarthy

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