EAST LANSING, Mich. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded Michigan State University $1.6 million for the first year of leading a national crop pollination research and extension project.
The five-year project will focus on supporting specialty crop yields and profit by supporting wild and managed bees. It is part of the USDA’s $101 million initiative to support the nation’s specialty crop producers.
There are many variables when it comes to growing specialty crops in Michigan and around the country, and the weather isn’t the only one. Specialty fruit, tree and nut growers also need the help of some small workers – pollinators, or bees.
Rufus Isaacs, MSU entomology professor, and his team will look at specialty crop pollination and develop region and crop-specific Integrated Crop Pollination management approaches to diversify pollination sources and maintain consistent crop yields. These may include honey bees, wild bees and alternative managed bees such as bumble bees.
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