Wednesday, 03 May 2017 15:47

Operation Pollinator program expanded in Western Canada

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Operation Pollinator, a Syngenta program focused on research and partnerships to promote the health and well-being of bees and other pollinators given their essential role in agriculture and nature, is expanding its footprint in Western Canada through a multi-year partnership with the Soil Conservation Council of Canada (SCCC). 

Through the partnership, farmers in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta can sign-up to establish Operation Pollinator sites on their farms. SCCC is collaborating with three provincial partners to deliver the program in each of the Prairie provinces — the Agriculture Research and Extension Council of Alberta (ARECA), Manitoba Conservation Districts Association (MCDA) and the Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association (SSCA).
 “Farmer members of ARECA associations are leading the way in sustainable agriculture,” says Tom McMillan, chair of ARECA. “Operation Pollinator is another initiative to promote stewardship on agricultural lands and ARECA is pleased to bring this project to Alberta farms.”
Operation Pollinator is focused on partnerships that will work with producers to establish on-farm sites across the prairies in 2017.
“ARECA will deliver Operation Pollinator in partnership with our nine member organizations across Alberta,” says Janette McDonald, executive director of ARECA.
Producers in Alberta can access more information by visiting the ARECA website (
“When farmers check this website, they will be directed to their local applied research or forage association for more information.”
Co-operating farmers agree to convert one-or-two acres of lower-productivity land to establish a pollinator site that will not be grazed for three years.
In exchange for dedicating the land, participating producers receive a provision of high-quality, pollinator-friendly seed, agronomic advice, and assistance to help offset site establishment costs.
The goal of the program is to establish and maintain new pollinator-friendly habitat over the long-term, study and learn from these sites, and enhance biodiversity for the benefit of the larger Prairie ecosystem.
Operation Pollinator is a program focused on research and partnerships to promote the health and well-being of bees and other pollinators given their essential role in agriculture and nature. The program’s mandate is to support activities that enhance biodiversity, habitat and other practical initiatives that contribute to healthy pollinator populations.
Originating in the United Kingdom, the Operation Pollinator program has since been expanded to several countries around the world, including Canada. It includes both on-farm and off-farm components.
Farmers wishing to sign up can visit the SCCC website ( where they will find details regarding participation in the program.
“We are excited about working with the Soil Conservation Council of Canada to expand the on-farm footprint of Operation Pollinator in Western Canada,” says Dr. Paul Hoekstra, senior stewardship and policy manager with Syngenta Canada.
“We have and continue to see benefits from Operation Pollinator activities,” Hoekstra adds, noting information gathered from Operation Pollinator sites confirms their positive contribution to the diversity and abundance of pollinators.
“Soil Conservation Council of Canada is privileged to be working with Syngenta in the delivery of Operation Pollinator in Canada,” says Jim Tokarchuk, executive director. “Their strong support anchors this effort and our network of Prairie partners will ensure this program will benefit farmers and the land they steward on behalf of all of society. This is strong fit with our organization’s mandate.”

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