During the week of June 19 – 25, 2023, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is recognizing National Pollinator Week through the continued commitment and support for pollinator health and research. Pollinator species, such as bees, other insects, birds and bats play a critical role in producing more than 100 crops grown in the United States. Honey bee pollination alone adds more than $18 billion in value to agricultural crops annually.
“Our world’s ecosystem and food supply greatly rely on pollinators – without them, many of our nation’s crops wouldn’t be able to produce as many fruits, nuts or vegetables resulting in lower supplies and higher prices,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “This week and every week, it is critically important that we continue to encourage the protection of pollinators and their habitats. Fewer pollinators harm both farm income and nutrition security for many Americans. Healthy pollinator populations are essential to the continued success and well-being of agricultural producers, rural America and the entire U.S. economy.”
USDA recognizes the critical role pollinators play in agriculture and supports pollinator health through research, data collection, diagnostic services, monitoring, pollinator habitat enhancement programs and pollinator health investments. USDA will release the “2023 Annual Strategic Pollinator Priorities Report” later this year outlining USDA pollinator research and programmatic priorities, focusing both on managed and wild pollinators. Identifying pollinator research priorities and practices enables USDA, partners and communities to make informed decisions when supporting pollinator health in the agricultural systems, ecosystems and economies that depend on pollinators.
Last month, USDA released a three-year Science and Research Strategy, which establishes a framework to transform the U.S. food system and support our Nation’s farmers, ranchers, producers and foresters. The framework includes efforts focusing on pollinator health research, education and Extension priorities. This year’s Annual Strategic Pollinator Priorities Report reflects input from Tribal and Hispanic/Latino community members and complements the USDA Science and Research Strategy. USDA is committed to ensuring our scientific research priorities reflect the needs of the diverse communities we serve.
To celebrate National Pollinator Week, USDA will host a pollinator exhibits exposition on Friday, June 23, 2023 (no rain date scheduled), from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (EDT) on the Jaime L. Whitten lawn, on Jefferson Drive, SW between 14th and 12th Street, SW (next to the Smithsonian Metro Station), in conjunction with USDA’s Farmers Market. The event is an opportunity for the public to explore and learn about pollinator health and how these powerhouses feed the world.
Learn more about USDA pollinator work at www.usda.gov/pollinators.