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

CitrusGrowers Need To Take The Ball And Run — Now! [Opinion]
October 18, 2014
Help yourself, your farm, and fellow colleagues by becoming more involved in your industry. Read More
CitrusDiversification Is King For Small Farm’s Success
October 16, 2014
Being flexible and adapting to the times critical for Central Florida's Vo-LaSalle Farms. Read More
CitrusAsian Citrus Psyllid Moves Into Northern California
October 15, 2014
First detections made of damaging insect in Santa Clara and San Joaquin counties. Read More
CitrusScientists Uproot Common “Superweed” Myths
October 15, 2014
A new fact sheet is available that explores the truth behind two fallacies.   Read More
CitrusUF/IFAS Joins In On Specialty Crop Block Grant Bonanza
October 15, 2014
Researchers partnering with FDACS and USDA on 24 separate projects to strengthen the produce market sector. Read More
Citrus2015 Florida Agricultural Hall Of Fame Inductees Announced
October 14, 2014
Six more to be honored for helping shape and influence the state’s farming industry. Read More
CitrusNew Jersey Green Industry Council Will Host Pollinator Summit November 11
October 8, 2014
The New Jersey Green Industry Council’s 2014 Pollinator Summit is an event and issue briefing for everyone who works in Read More

The Latest

CitrusGrowers Need To Take The Ball And Run — Now! [Opi…
October 18, 2014
Help yourself, your farm, and fellow colleagues by becoming more involved in your industry. Read More
CitrusLegendary Florida Citrus Grower And Advocate Passes
October 17, 2014
Joe L. Davis Sr. will be remembered for his straight talk and sage advice. Read More
CitrusDiversification Is King For Small Farm’s Success
October 16, 2014
Being flexible and adapting to the times critical for Central Florida's Vo-LaSalle Farms. Read More
CitrusAsian Citrus Psyllid Moves Into Northern California
October 15, 2014
First detections made of damaging insect in Santa Clara and San Joaquin counties. Read More
CitrusScientists Uproot Common “Superweed” Myths
October 15, 2014
A new fact sheet is available that explores the truth behind two fallacies.   Read More
CitrusUF/IFAS Joins In On Specialty Crop Block Grant Bonanza
October 15, 2014
Researchers partnering with FDACS and USDA on 24 separate projects to strengthen the produce market sector. Read More
Citrus2015 Florida Agricultural Hall Of Fame Inductees Announ…
October 14, 2014
Six more to be honored for helping shape and influence the state’s farming industry. Read More
CitrusElevated Expectations For Forthcoming Florida Citrus Cr…
October 10, 2014
USDA’s first forecast comes in markedly higher than pundits’ pre-season predictions. Read More
CitrusNew Jersey Green Industry Council Will Host Pollinator …
October 8, 2014
The New Jersey Green Industry Council’s 2014 Pollinator Summit is an event and issue briefing for everyone who works in Read More
CitrusFarm Bureau Urges Senate To Ditch Proposed Water Rule
October 8, 2014
Farm Bureau says the time is now to have the proposed water rule withdrawn. Read More
Citrus2014 Irrigation Show To Highlight Education
October 6, 2014
The conference, to be held in Phoenix, AZ, brings together all aspects of irrigation and water management: education, certification, networking, and innovative technologies. Read More
CitrusFarming Is Quite The Scary Prospect For Some [Opinion]
September 30, 2014
Florida Grower managing editor Paul Rusnak says economic realities might frighten off future leaders from noble professions. Read More
CitrusFlorida Announces Its 2014 Woman Of The Year In Agricul…
September 29, 2014
Longtime award recognizes women who have made outstanding contributions to the state’s farming sector. Read More
CitrusFlorida Produce Industry Embracing Progress, Confrontin…
September 29, 2014
Production pressures and politics hot topics at FFVA’s 71st Annual Convention. Read More
CitrusFlorida Farmers Finding Ways To Cultivate An Environmen…
September 26, 2014
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam salutes producers putting their best management practices forward. Read More
CitrusGrowers Should Partner Wisely To Stay Afloat Amid WOTUS…
September 26, 2014
According to Florida Grower editor Frank Giles, the Clean Water Act is muddying waters for farmers. Read More
CitrusPolitics Creating More Work In Farm Management Field
September 24, 2014
Paul Meador of Everglades Harvesting Co. says an immigration reform resolution can't come soon enough. Read More
CitrusUF/IFAS Names New Dean Of Research
September 24, 2014
Longtime citrus scientist Jackie Burns takes lead post. Read More