Operation Pollinator to create friendly spaces for bees and other pollinators on the Prairies

(Scott Bauer photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Syngenta Canada and the Soil Conversation Council of Canada have signed on to a multi-year partnership to promote the dedicated spaces for pollinators on the Prairies.

Under the program, farmers can sign up to establish Operation Pollinator sites on their farms. In exchange for converting one to two acres of lower productivity land, the farmer receives pollinator-friendly wildflower seed, agronomic advice and assistance to offset site establishment costs.

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, the two organizations say in a press release.

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).

Farmers wishing to sign up can visit the SCCC website (www.soilcc.ca) where they will find details regarding participation in the program.

“We are excited about working with the Soil Conservation Council of Canada to expand the on-farm footprint of Operation Pollinator in Western Canada,” says Paul Hoekstra, senior stewardship and policy manager with Syngenta Canada. “We have and continue to see benefits from Operation Pollinator activities,” Hoekstra adds, noting that information gathered from Operation Pollinator sites confirms their positive contribution to the diversity and abundance of pollinators.

“Soil Conservation Council of Canada is privileged to be working with Syngenta in the delivery of Operation Pollinator in Canada,” says Jim Tokarchuk, executive director. “Their strong support anchors this effort and our network of Prairie partners will ensure this program will benefit farmers and the land they steward on behalf of all of society. This is strong fit with our organization’s mandate.”

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