Minnesota seed industry focusing on wildflowers

Farm Forum

GLYNDON, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota’s plant seed industry is beginning to produce more wildflower seeds and a wider variety overall to address concerns over diminishing honey bee populations.

Prairie Restorations, Inc. has increased its production of plants that serve as a habitat for pollinating insects, including bee and butterfly species. Jim Johansen, who manages seed production on a farm near Moorhead, tells Minnesota Public Radio News the company has changed its native seed operations, which used to focus primarily on grass-dominant mixes.

Keith Fredrick, production manager for Otsego-based Minnesota Native Landscapes, says other companies are following suit since the entire native seed industry has adjusted to change the demand to wildflower seed. Companies may also be enticed by state and federal programs that offer incentives for planting pollinator habitat.