Aimed at protecting insects important to New York agriculture
By Diego Flammini, Farms.com
In an effort to protect pollinators like bees and butterflies who play an important role in pollinating New York’s agricultural goods, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the creation of a taskforce whose job it will be to develop a Pollinator Protection Plan.
“Pollinators are crucial to the health of New York’s environment, as well as the strength of our agricultural economy,” Governor Cuomo said. “By developing a statewide action plan, we are expanding our efforts to protect these species and our unparalleled natural resources, and making an important step forward in our commitment to New York’s ecological and economic future.”
The taskforce’s responsibilities will include:
- Forming partnerships with researchers to expand collection and data sharing about pollinator health
- Developing strategies for public education purposes
- Identify habitat enhancement and foraging opportunities
- Develop best management practices for landowners, pesticide applicators, beekeepers and state agencies
The USDA estimates pollinators provide nearly $500 million worth of their services and can add up to $15 billion in crop value nationally.
New York crops such as apples, cherries, onions, pumpkins and cauliflower rely on pollinators heavily and in the last 50 years, the number of pollinators has dropped significantly.
New York State Commissioner of Agriculture Richard A. Ball, said he is in favor of Governor Cuomo’s decision.
“As a farmer, I know that pollinators play a critical role in our state’s abundant food supply. Governor Cuomo’s plan will provide added protection for these vital actors in our ecosystem. I look forward to the hard work of finding solutions to this serious issue.”
Join the conversation and tell us your thoughts about Governor Cuomo taking the steps necessary to help protect pollinators in New York. Do you think your state would benefit from similar actions?
New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo