Pollinator research would be beefed up under the Senate farm bill now awaiting a floor vote and, perhaps, a reconciliation with the House version. The bill includes language requiring the USDA's Office of the Chief Scientist to hire a Honeybee and Pollinator Research Coordinator who would “establish annual strategic priorities and goals” for research on native and managed pollinators. In addition, the bill would reconstitute the Pollinator Health Task Force that produced a 2015 report that recommended the development by states of pollinator protection plans. The Senate bill also would establish a “large-scale multiyear field research project to evaluate the impact of horticultural and agricultural pest-management practices on native and managed pollinator colonies in diverse agro-ecosystems.” In addition, the chief scientist – a position now held by Chavonda Jacobs-Young – would have to ensure that research is conducted to help develop “crop-specific best management practices that balance the needs of crop managers with the health of native and managed pollinator colonies.’’

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