Spring planting plans for some Midwest farmers this year involve more than hybrid selection, seeding rates and fertilizer applications.

Farmers are also thinking about how they can incorporate habitat to help reverse declining populations of monarch butterflies, bees and other beneficial pollinators. Loss of habitat is cited as one of the chief reasons for the decline in the butterfly and bee populations.

"Bee health experts agree that lack of adequate forage and nutrition is one of the major factors affecting honey bees today," said Becky Langer, manager of Bayer’s North American Bee Care Program.

The same holds true for monarch butterfly populations, which have steadily declined to their lowest levels since the early 1990s, according to Steven Bradbury, an Iowa State University (ISU) entomology and ecology professor.

Pollinator health and habitat has risen to importance as the Environmental Protection Agency mulls tighter controls on...