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Published December 16, 2013, 09:49 AM

ND pollinator plan released

Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says a new North Dakota Pollinator Plan has been developed to help farmers, ranchers, landowners and beekeepers better protect honeybees while enabling cultivation practices necessary for modern agriculture.

By: North Dakota Department of Agriculture ,

BISMARCK, N.D. — Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says a new North Dakota Pollinator Plan has been developed to help farmers, ranchers, landowners and beekeepers better protect honeybees while enabling cultivation practices necessary for modern agriculture.

“The plan is now available on the homepage of the North Dakota Department of Agriculture website, and I encourage all stakeholders to download a copy,” Goehring says.

The website is www.nd.gov/ndda.

Goehring says the plan was developed in response to a growing need for a balanced public policy that reduces risk to honeybees, while minimizing the impact of that mitigation on production agriculture.

“It is completely nonregulatory,” he says. “It contains Best Management Practices and other proactive measures and ideas to help agricultural producers and beekeepers find common ground, all on a voluntary basis.”

He also says the plan is open to revision and change.

“The pollinator plan is not a static document, but a work in progress,” Goehring says. “We intend to revisit it annually and update it as needed.”

The plan is largely based on information gathered at a meeting last fall and at a statewide pollinator summit of beekeepers, growers, pesticide applicators, crop consultants and other stakeholders, convened by Goehring in July. Following the summit, he directed staff from NDDA’s pesticide and fertilizer and plant protection divisions to prepare the draft.

North Dakota has been the nation’s leading honey-producing state for the past decade. In 2012, the state produced 34.2 million pounds of honey from 495,000 colonies. The value of the honey crop was $64.6 million.

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