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First National Agriculture Pollinator Forum on Feb. 24-25

The emergence of colony collapse disorder among managed bees puts a greater importance on the role of the free pollination services provided by native pollinators.

National agriculture and conservation leaders are gathering to explore ways to stabilize and enhance threatened native pollinator populations that contribute to a $20 billion fruit, nut, vegetable and field crop production industry in the United States.

“The Native Pollinators in Agriculture Work Group, a panel of more than 30 growers, academics, government officials and conservationists, is hosting the first National Agriculture Pollinator Forum Feb. 24 and 25 in Arlington, Va.,” says Janet Knodel, North Dakota State University Extension entomologist. “The purpose is to address the need to boost native bees, insects, birds and animal populations that are vital to production agriculture.”

The emergence of colony collapse disorder among managed bees puts a greater importance on the role of the free pollination services provided by native pollinators. These native bees, insects, birds and animals supplement the pollination services provided by managed bees and help increase farm productivity and profitability. The Work Group estimates that 15 percent of the combined value of U.S fruit, nut, vegetable and field crop production can be attributed to pollination services provided by native insects and animals.

The Native Pollinators in Agriculture forum will be held at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City immediately prior to the 2009 USDA Agriculture Outlook Conference. The forum will detail steps that the agriculture community can take to capitalize on the services provided by native pollinators.

Program highlights include:

  • Native pollinator pollination services
  • Latest developments on colony collapse disorder
  • Habitat establishment and proper pesticide use
  • Grower perspectives on how pollinator protection practices have helped their bottom line
  • Projects growers can put on the ground to enhance native pollinator populations
  • The launch of a national agriculture pollinator alliance

Knodel will be a facilitator during a conference breakout session. For more information, go to http://www.agpollinators.org/index.html#.

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NDSU Agriculture Communication

Source:Janet Knodel, (701) 231-7915, janet.knodel@ndsu.edu
Editor:Rich Mattern, (701) 231-6136, richard.mattern@ndsu.edu
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