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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Promoting Pollinators and Other Beneficial Insects Through Bio-Oil Production

Location: Soil Management Research

Project Number: 5060-21220-005-04
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Oct 01, 2012
End Date: Sep 30, 2015

The long-term goal of this project is to develop systems of best management practices for the Northern Great Plains (NPG) that not only minimize adverse effects of biofuel production on pollinators and predatory arthropods, but actively and purposefully promote populations of these beneficial insects (BI).

Many BI are limited by the low abundance and diversity of food resources in spring and autumn. Consequently, a suite of field experiments and laboratory analyses will be performed. These activities will: (1) Document and compare the basic flowering phenology of a wide variety of NPG-adapted oilseed crops of known economic value with the intent of expanding the availability and diversity of pollen and nectar from April to November. (2) Develop management protocols that extend flowering times, especially in spring and autumn. (3) Examine rotational compatibility of oilseed crops with standard biofuel crops, including corn, soybean, and switchgrass. (4) certify BI use of oilseed floral and vegetative resources. (5) Determine BI community assemblages. (6) Decipher BI spillover effects into adjacent rotational crops, especially as influenced by habitat edges and landscape fragmentation.

Last Modified: 11/27/2015
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