Farm and bee groups send letter supporting increase in pollinator research levels
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WASHINGTON, April 24, 2015- A group of more than 40 farm groups and companies sent a letter to House and Senate agricultural appropriations leaders supporting increases in the President Barack Obama's fiscal 2016 budget for honey bee research activities. The House will begin consideration of appropriations bills next week.
The groups, including the American Beekeeping Federation and the American Honey Producers Association, said these activities include a $7 million increase to the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) budget for the Pollinator Health Initiative and $500,000 increase for the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to further analyze honey bee colony losses and pollination costs for the Pollinator Health Initiative.
“We also support the National Institutes of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) coordinating its efforts for longterm protection of pollinator health,” the letter states.
The groups noted that for over a decade, beekeepers have been suffering from higher than typical overwintering losses. “These losses and the unpredictability of their severity have threatened the sustainability of this important segment of agriculture,” they said.
“We are confident that with these funds USDA-ARS will pursue this work, free from preconceived notions or agenda, to provide credible scientific evidence, and guide the agriculture community to common sense solutions,” the letter concluded.
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