Illinois farmers are going beyond planting crops and raising animals; they’re making sure wildlife that helps our food grow has homes too. Honeybees, butterflies, and pollinators play an important role in our food production system. Farmers are working closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency, the Illinois Department of Agriculture, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and other government agencies and stakeholder groups to develop programs to conserve important habitats for these species. Illinois farmers rank second in the nation for acres dedicated to pollinator habitat through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP.) I L L I N O I S A G R I C U L T U R E : L E T ’ S G R O W | B E Y O N D C R O P S & L I V E S T O C K for pollinator habitat 57,390 ACRES 62,545 ACRES 104,088 ACRES for wetlands for bird habitat Farmers enroll in CRP by agreeing to remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and plant a conservation cover that will improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, and increase quality wildlife habitat. The amount of crop acres in Illinois that have been converted for the benefit of conservation is 879,963 acres.7 Of these acres: In fact, the amount of Illinois land enrolled in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s pollinator habitat program has increased more than 300 times since 2012! The acres of pollinator habitat installed by Illinois farmers now cover an area equivalent to 82% of the City of Chicago. 13 7  USDA Farm Service Agency Conservation Reserve Program Monthly Summary – July 2018. USDA Farm Service Agency. https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/Conservation/PDF/JULY%20 2018%20Summary.pdf