Pollinators in our food system

I was recently interviewed on Delicious Revolution, a radio show and podcast about food, culture and place.  It’s a show of in-depth interviews with people involved in food and food movements.
My episode is part of a season that dives deep into unseen stories in the food system. There  are stories of seaweed foragers, restaurant worker advocates, scientists who track our native bees, and cooks using food to explore lineages of migration and change.   I talk about native bees in our food system- how these tiny actors (who often go unnoticed) are critically important to agricultural production.
You can hear it by subscribing to the podcast or you can listen right on the website: http://deliciousrevolutionshow.com/news/2016/23-hillary-sardinas

Hedgerows eventually pay for themselves

New research out of the California Central Valley shows that by contributing to pest control and pollination services, native plant pollinator hedgerows end up paying back the cost of their installation and maintenance over time.

The cost of hedgerows used by the authors of the study are higher than those projected by groups such as the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. Importantly, the authors found that when farmers are able to take advantage of cost share programs funded by the National Research Conservation Service (NRCS), that the amount of time it takes to pay back the initial investment is cut in half. This indicates that the Farm Bill program that supports hedgerows (the Environmental Quality Incentive Program or EQIP) is helping offset installation costs and is a tool farmers should take advantage of if they qualify for assistance.

Learn more about the study details:

Morandin, L.A., R.F. Long, and C. Kremen. 2016. Pest Control and Pollination Cost-Benefit Analysis of Hedgerow Restoration in a Simplified Agricultural Landscape. Journal of Economic Entomology: 1-8.

Best summary of hedgerows I’ve read!

Check out this wonderful, short article on the history and value of hedgerows– it even includes information on hedgerow installation!

Organic Broadcaster

WSARE report on pollinator projects they have funded

Western SARE (which stands for Sustainable Agriculture, Research & Education) just released a report highlighting the pollinator projects they have funded, including short courses on pollinator monitoring put on by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation (excellent opportunities to learn about different bee species). WSARE funded my graduate research, which was also highlighted.
Check out the details here!

National Pollinator Strategy

Today the White House released it’s National Pollinator Strategy, a comprehensive document outlining the governments’ plans to decrease losses from Colony Collapse Disorder, help Monarch butterflies, and increase acreage for pollinators through restoration and enhancement (goal = 7 million acres in the next 5 years!). How will they accomplish this? Through “USDA resources applied to CRP and EQIP pollinator enhancements, and national forest and grassland acreage; DOI actions to restore or enhance lands through direct restoration action, along with the inclusion of pollinator-friendly native seeds in all post-fire re-vegetation and fuels/green stripping projects; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) implementation of pollinator best management practices at its facilities.”

However, the strategy had already been criticized for not doing enough to alter the use of pesticides currently being used today (that are having deleterious effects on pollinator populations).

Read the whole strategy here (pdf).