(WASHINGTON, June 21, 2021) – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) proclamation to recognize the designation of the week of June 21 – 27, 2021 as National Pollinator Week.
Pollinator species, such as birds, bats, bees, and other insects, play an important role in producing more than 100 crops grown in the United States. Honey bee pollination alone adds more than $18 billion in value to agricultural crops annually and are critical to ensuring our diets are plentiful with fruits, nuts, and vegetables.
“The health of these agricultural contributors is critical to the vitality and sustainability of U.S. agriculture, food security, and our nation’s overall economy. Pollinators are also essential for healthy, biodiverse ecosystems across public and private lands, including our agricultural lands and our National Forests and grasslands,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “I applaud pollinator conservation efforts happening across our nation. I recognize we have a lot more work to do to protect these important agricultural contributors and creating awareness about the importance of pollinators is a continued step to ensuring pollinators thrive.”
USDA recognizes the critical role pollinators play in agriculture and supports pollinator health through research, data collections, diagnostic services, monitoring, pollinator habitat enhancement programs, and pollinator health grants. Learn more about USDA pollinator work at www.usda.gov/pollinators.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
Happy Pollinator Week! BEE Friendly to Pollinators with Conservation Plants
Pollinator Week is an annual event celebrated in support of pollinator health. The majority of crops we eat (fruits, vegetables, and nuts) and most plants found in natural ecosystems across the globe rely on pollinators for fruit and seed production. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides technical and financial assistance for conservation efforts to increase pollinator habitat through USDA programs.
The USDA NRCS Plant Materials Program and its 25 Plant Materials Centers select plants and provide recommendations on plants to support natural resource conservation efforts on both private and public lands. Plants selected by Plant Materials Centers are available through commercial sources for use in conservation practices, such as to enhance or create pollinator habitat.
Plant Materials Centers have selected and released to the public more than 90 native wildflowers and legumes to support pollinator populations throughout the growing season. NRCS, working with pollinator experts from the Xerces Society, assigned pollinator value scores to these plants to guide conservationists and other interested in planting them for pollinator conservation planting. A spreadsheet of these plants and the benefits they provide to pollinators is on the Insect and Pollinator Habitat Resources page of Plant Materials website along with links to other technical information on pollinator habitat.
Check out the NRCS Insect & Pollinators website to find out how you can help establish pollinator habitat and the efforts NRCS has underway to support honey bees, Monarch butterflies, and all beneficial insects and pollinators.
Technical information and guidance on the use of conservation plants to address resource concerns can be found on the Plant Materials Program website or contact the nearest Plant Materials Center or plant materials specialist. For additional information on specific species of plants mentioned, please see the USDA PLANTS database.