If signed into law, the bill would set a goal for the USDA and other agencies of conserving, restoring, or enhancing 3 million acres of forage habitat — i.e. fields of flowering plants and shrubs — a step towards the goal of 7 million acres of pollinator habitat set by the White House in 2014.
The cool spring in Prince Edward Island could put a dent in the blueberry crop. While blueberry farmers seem to have dodged repeated frost warnings, the same can’t be said for pollination. Simply put, bees don’t like working in cooler than normal weather.
Traditional pollination machines only blow pollen up into the plant canopy once, resulting in the fairly low hit rate. An expensive exercise, when pollen costs $3000 per kilogram.
The USDA also said that according to a new review of acreage enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program, “farmers and ranchers across the country have created more than 15 million acres of healthy habitat and forage for pollinators.” Nearly 270,000 acres are enrolled in one pollinator-specific program, but pollinators “are also helped by several