USDA Provides $8 Million To Help Boost Declining Honeybee Populations

USDA has announced $8 million in Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) incentives for Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin growers and ranchers who establish new habitats for declining honeybee populations. More than half of the commercially managed honeybees are in these five states during the summer. This announcement comes in addition to $3 million USDA designated to the Midwest states to support bee populations earlier this year through the Natural Resources Conservation Service Environmental Quality Incentives Program.

“American agricultural production relies on having a healthy honeybee population,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “In recent years, factors such as diseases, parasites, pesticides, or habitat loss have contributed to a significant decline in the honeybee population. This $8 million is part of the Administration’s ongoing strategy to reverse these trends and establish more plant habitat on Conservation Reserve Program lands to restore the bee population.”

The new CRP pollinator initiative is designed to further enhance current CRP land, allowing it to provide better access to nutritious pollinator forage. The program allows for managing or replacing existing vegetation with lower-cost, high-nutrition seed mixes that can support distinct blooming cycles of plants that benefit pollinators.
Honeybees, the pollinator workhorse of U.S. fruit and vegetable agriculture, will have more blooms from which to collect nectar and pollen to sustain and promote colony growth and honey production throughout the growing season. By assisting honeybees, the pollinator initiative helps USDA continue to secure the food supply. More than $15 billion worth of agricultural production, including more than 130 fruits and vegetables, depend on the health and well-being of honeybees.

Now is a critical time for efforts to support honeybee populations, which have been declining for decades in the U.S. The number of managed U.S. honeybee colonies dropped from 6 million in 1947, to just 2.5 million today.

This week, President Obama issued a memorandum directing U.S. government agencies to take additional steps to protect and restore domestic populations of pollinators, including honeybees. Vilsack and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will co-chair a new Pollinator Health Task Force to focus federal efforts to conduct research and take action to help pollinators recover from population losses.

For more information about the new pollinator initiative in the five Midwestern states, the continuous enrollment in the Conservation Reserve Program, and the pollinator habitat initiative, contact your local FSA office or go to fsa.usda.gov.

Source: USDA press release

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

One comment on “USDA Provides $8 Million To Help Boost Declining Honeybee Populations

  1. Normally, in years past, I would applaud this move; however, I’ve now come to realize that it is more business as usual in Washington. Rather than simply ban the pesticides that they know are at the center of this issue, they opt to throw taxpayer funds at this problem to create habitat for the declining pollinators population. This is not going to resolve anything because these pesticides are thousand of times stronger than DDT, which we banned in this country. Rather than offend a couple of corporations and their bottom line, they want to throw taxpayer $$$ at the problem and the pollinators will continue to die off.

Citrus Stories
Citrus2 Dozen Florida Nurseries Vying For Coveted Cannabis Growing Licenses
July 27, 2015
With only five spots available to produce the low-THC ‘Charlotte’s Web’ strain, tedious review process is in full swing. Read More
Insect & Disease UpdateSecond Case In A Month Of Citrus Greening In California
July 24, 2015
More trees testing positive for disease within close proximity of original find. Read More
CitrusUSDA Expands Crop Insurance Options For Fruit And Nut Growers
July 24, 2015
The USDA announced the expansion of crop insurance to provide additional options for fruit and nut producers. The Supplemental Coverage Read More
FFVA 2015 Annual Convention logo
CitrusFlorida Fruit & Vegetable Association Annual Convention Stacking Up To Be One For The Ages
July 23, 2015
Association's 72nd gathering to feature high-profile speakers, up-to-the-minute Issues Forums, and some fun to mix in with the business of the day. Read More
CitrusMarketing Order Amendments Referendum Set For Fresh Florida Citrus
July 22, 2015
Changes include the authorization and regulation of new varieties. Read More
Shannon Shepp
CitrusInterim Executive Director Named For Florida Department Of Citrus
July 22, 2015
Shannon Shepp will take on leadership duties immediately after unanimous Citrus Commission vote. Read More
CitrusInternational Report Confirms 2014 As Earth’s Warmest Year On Record
July 21, 2015
Scientific compilation notes climate markers continue to show global warming trend. Read More
The Latest
CitrusGroup Food Safety Audits May Help Prepare You For The P…
July 29, 2015
Group food safety audits, slated to be available next spring, may save small- to mid-size growers time and money. Read More
CitrusNew Director Named For Florida’s Citrus Research And Ed…
July 28, 2015
Michael Rogers takes a positive charge at finding solutions to greening. Read More
Washington Capitol building
CitrusHouse Passes Bill To Block State GMO Food Labeling Mand…
July 27, 2015
The legislation would offer a federal standard for voluntary labeling of foods containing GMOs.   Read More
Citrus2 Dozen Florida Nurseries Vying For Coveted Cannabis Gr…
July 27, 2015
With only five spots available to produce the low-THC ‘Charlotte’s Web’ strain, tedious review process is in full swing. Read More
CitrusUSDA Expands Crop Insurance Options For Fruit And Nut G…
July 24, 2015
The USDA announced the expansion of crop insurance to provide additional options for fruit and nut producers. The Supplemental Coverage Read More
FFVA 2015 Annual Convention logo
CitrusFlorida Fruit & Vegetable Association Annual Conven…
July 23, 2015
Association's 72nd gathering to feature high-profile speakers, up-to-the-minute Issues Forums, and some fun to mix in with the business of the day. Read More
CitrusMarketing Order Amendments Referendum Set For Fresh Flo…
July 22, 2015
Changes include the authorization and regulation of new varieties. Read More
Shannon Shepp
CitrusInterim Executive Director Named For Florida Department…
July 22, 2015
Shannon Shepp will take on leadership duties immediately after unanimous Citrus Commission vote. Read More
CitrusInternational Report Confirms 2014 As Earth’s Warmest Y…
July 21, 2015
Scientific compilation notes climate markers continue to show global warming trend. Read More
non-gmo label leafy greens
CitrusGMO Labeling Battle Moves To House Floor
July 21, 2015
The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 was passed by the Agriculture Committee last week and will head Read More
Doug Ackerman
CitrusFlorida Department Of Citrus Executive Director Resigns
July 21, 2015
Doug Ackerman steps down after traffic incident. Read More
CitrusWOTUS Wranglings Leaving Agriculture High And Dry [Opin…
July 17, 2015
In late May, the EPA announced the highly anticipated final rule re-defining the waters of the United States (WOTUS) under Read More
man expressing opinion through bullhorn
CitrusStay Opinionated, My Farmer Friends
July 15, 2015
How far are you willing to go to defend your beliefs? Read More
CitrusSouth Florida Water Managers Keeping Close Eye On Dry C…
July 15, 2015
Traditional wet season has been anything but so far as certain parts of the region now experiencing “extreme drought.” Read More
Washington Capitol building
CitrusUnited Fresh Washington Conference Connects You With Ke…
July 14, 2015
United Fresh has announced the Washington Conference, which will be held Sept. 28-30 in Washington D.C. The conference offers an Read More
CitrusEl Niño Could Be Strongest In 50 Years
July 14, 2015
In the latest AccuWeather report, Brett Anderson, senior meteorologist with AccuWeather says El Niño has strengthened over the past few Read More
CitrusReport: Climate Change Threat To Bumblebee Populations
July 13, 2015
According to a news release from the University of Vermont, in the most comprehensive study ever conducted of the impacts Read More
CitrusFlorida Agriculture Financial Management Conference Sch…
July 12, 2015
Educational program of prominent speakers to provide the lowdown on ag business trends. Read More