In response to America’s urgent needs to protect pollinators and to support sustainable livestock farming, Grassland Oregon, a leading seed research and development company, has introduced a new seed mixture called Pastures for Pollinators, announced Risa DeMasi, co-founder of Grassland Oregon and immediate past chairman of the American Seed Trade Association. Proceeds from the sales of Pastures for Pollinators will be donated to further sustainable agriculture research programs.
“With over 400 million acres of pastureland in the US, we felt it was vital to develop a forage solution that would promote pollinator habitats while also helping farmers and ranchers to feed their livestock and to sustain their soil resources,” says DeMasi. “We believe Pasture for Pollinators will benefit bees, livestock and the US economy for decades to come.”
Habitat loss is a major cause for pollinator decline, which includes monarch butterflies, moths and bee colonies. This is a serious economic and environmental issue, which has not been addressed fully by the US government or the agriculture industry. Native bees contribute over $9 billion to the US economy by pollinating crops, while managed hives contribute over $15 billion. However, over the last five decades, the number of bee colonies has decreased by half and the cost of bee hive rentals for farmers has tripled. Monarch butterfly migrations have declined from 550 million in 2004 to 33 million in 2013.
Pastures for Pollinators seed mixture is available and orders – or donations to help increase and sustain the nation’s pollinator population – can be made at www.pasturesforpollinators.com.