How We Grow

2021 July/Aug How We Grow

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 5 of 19

Coalition Seeks to Expand Voluntary Efforts to Protect Pollinators California's native bees and butterflies don't obey property lines and that's just fine with almond growers, who welcome these tiny trespassers each year – along with managed honey bees – to assist in pollinating the crop. However, California's 1,600 species of native bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects are facing increasing challenges, including urbanization, scarce water and climate change. Working lands, including almond orchards, can help by providing pollinator habitat and forage that benefits both managed and native pollinators. This recognition led the Almond Board of California (ABC) to spearhead the formation of the California Pollinator Coalition, a network of more than 20 agriculture and conservation-minded organizations. The primary goal of the coalition is to promote increased grower and rancher adoption of voluntary, pollinator-friendly practices in and around California agricultural lands through on-farm and in-orchard projects. "California's almond industry has a long record of continuous improvement in the area of Integrated Pest Management and protection and stewardship of honey bees, and there is growing recognition that agriculture benefits from a diverse population of native insects across the landscape. Growers understand the role of pollinators and beneficial insects on their operations, and evidence shows that creating habitat can benefit both growers and the environment," said ABC's Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Josette Lewis. "This new coalition helps us expand on our work to demonstrate that agriculture can be part of the solution to sustaining California's biodiversity." Coalition brings together agriculture and conservation "What we are doing in California is acknowledging the urgency to address the critical issue of protecting all pollinators, including native and managed species," said Laurie Davies Adams, president and CEO of Pollinator Partnership. "Agriculture and conservation must work together to achieve this goal." Extending the California almond industry's commitment to protect honeybees, coalition members plan to work together on a variety of fronts to support growers and ranchers in increased efforts to protect pollinators by: Preparing grower- and rancher-friendly guidance on how to build and maintain pollinator habitat on farms and ranches. Conducting research and disseminating relevant science. Monitoring outcomes (adoption rates and effectiveness of practices). "Collaborative action can mitigate risks to California's pollinators, and that's exactly why this coalition has come together," said Secretary Karen Ross of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). "We need PEST MANAGEMENT 1 Williams, N.M., 2017. Evaluating Alternative Bee Forage Plantings to Support Honey Bees in Almond Orchards– Assessing Bloom Time, Bee Use and Orchard Pollination. Almond Board of California Annual Research Reports Research shows that forage does not compete with almond blossoms and, in general, orchards with supplemental forage plantings tend to have higher nut set than those without plantings. 1 5

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of How We Grow - 2021 July/Aug How We Grow