Syngenta and Cavendish Farms create pollinator habitats

Jun 21, 2024

Syngenta Canada has partnered with Cavendish Farms to establish two large pollinator habitats on Prince Edward Island (PEI) to promote bee health and demonstrate how habitat creation enhances biodiversity on farms and contributes to sustainable agriculture. This initiative is an expansion of “The Bee Project” by Cavendish Farms and is supported by Syngenta’s Operation Pollinator, a long-standing global biodiversity initiative that focuses on research and partnerships to promote the health and well-being of bees and other pollinators.

“We’re proud to collaborate with Cavendish Farms to foster healthy pollinator populations and help raise awareness of the importance of biodiversity,” says Mike Buttenham, sustainability manager with Syngenta Canada.

In July 2023, two 10-acre Operation Pollinator plots were planted at the Cavendish Farms Research Centre in New Annan and its Freetown site with pollinator-friendly seed, including multiple types of clover, birdsfoot trefoil, groundbreaker radish, phacelia, and timothy. The diverse mix ensures a season-long food source for pollinators as the plants flower from spring through fall. Farms provide great potential to create essential habitat and food sources for a range of bees and other pollinating insects.

“At Cavendish Farms, we are proud of our efforts to protect the environment and deliver value from the farm to the table,” says Robert K. Irving, president of Cavendish Farms. “Creating pollinator plots can help improve crop yields and is a great example of how we are working with our growing partners on PEI to try new and innovative ways to care for the soil and support sustainable agriculture.”

Building on the success of the 2023 initiative, Cavendish Farms plans to plant additional acres of habitat on the Island this year.

This is the second Operation Pollinator initiative that Syngenta has supported in PEI. In 2021 and 2022, Syngenta partnered with the PEI Potato Board to engage farmers to increase biodiversity by planting pollinator-friendly seed mixes on lower productivity land. Participants received a provision of high-quality, commercial seed, agronomic advice, and financial assistance to help offset site establishment costs. In total, 52 acres were planted thanks to the efforts of participating farms on the Island.

“Partnering with companies like Cavendish Farms and organizations like the PEI Potato Board is critical to the success of Operation Pollinator and its mandate to support activities that enhance biodiversity, habitat and other practical initiatives that can contribute to healthy pollinator populations,” says Erin McGregor, stewardship and policy manager with Syngenta Canada. “We appreciate the shared commitment of industry and farmers to enhance biodiversity and support sustainable agriculture.”

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