Operation Pollinator expanding to western growers
By Top Crop Manager
Operation Pollinator is expanding its footprint in Western Canada through a multi-year partnership with the Soil Conservation Council of Canada (SCCC). This Syngenta-based program is focused on research and partnerships to promote the health and well-being of bees and other pollinators.
Farmers in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta can sign-up to establish Operation Pollinator sites on their farms. SCCC is collaborating with three provincial partners to deliver the program in each of the Prairie provinces – the Agriculture Research and Extension Council of Alberta (ARECA), Manitoba Conservation Districts Association (MCDA) and the Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association (SSCA).
How to enroll? Producers agree to convert one-to-two acres of lower-productivity land to establish a dedicated Operation Pollinator site. In exchange for dedicating the land, participating producers receive a provision of high-quality, pollinator-friendly wildflower seed, agronomic advice, and assistance to help offset site establishment costs.
What gets planted? Participating farmers will receive a provision of high-quality commercial seed, free of noxious weeds and invasive species, developed in collaboration with a third-party research partner. It includes a diverse range of native species that are well-suited to the Canadian environment. Most of the plants included in the mix are known to bloom for lengthy periods, producing an ongoing source of pollen and nectar for pollinators. The goal of the program is to establish and maintain new pollinator-friendly habitat over the long term, study and learn from these sites, and enhance biodiversity for the benefit of the larger Prairie ecosystem.
What are the program benefits? The program delivers a number of benefits to pollinators, participants and the landscape. It’s an opportunity for growers to improve biodiversity on their farms by converting a portion of land into essential habitat and food sources for a range of native bees and pollinating insects.
Farmers wishing to sign up can visit the SCCC website soilcc.ca where they will find details regarding participation in the program.