How can farmers help bees and ensure they get reliable pollination for their crops? That question is being addressed by the Integrated Crop Pollination Project, which is celebrating National Pollinator Week, June 19-25, by highlighting new training videos, crop pollination fact sheets and series of recorded webinars that are available for farmers.
The Integrated Crop Pollination Project aims to improve the sustainability of specialty crop pollination across the United States. The project is a partnership of 15 different institutions working to identify how best to achieve effective and economical crop pollination.
During spring 2017, the project team developed six webinars on crop pollination. These cover almond, apple, blueberry, cherry, pumpkin and watermelon pollination issues, and they are all available to watch here.
The project is increasingly focused on getting the research delivered to farmers across the country.
“This team has conducted research from California to Pennsylvania in a wide array of crops and we are now translating our research results into guidelines,” said Rufus Isaacs project director of the Integrated Crop Pollination Project and MSU professor in the Department of Entomology. “With so much concern about pollinator health, we hope these resources can help farmers do their part to enhance bees on their farms and to also enhance their crop’s pollination.”
So far, the Integrated Crop Pollination Project team has trained over 20,500 stakeholders in specialty crop pollination techniques via in-person workshops and presentations.
In addition to these resources, the Integrated Crop Pollination team has developed the groundwork for an online Pollination Mapper system.
“Pollination Mapper will provide insights and guidance to specialty crop growers as they make decisions about how best to pollinate their crops by harnessing the results of our research combined with modern online computing power,” said Isaacs. “We look forward to rolling that out in the future.”