Earlier today, Governor Dayton issued an executive order regarding the health of our pollinators in Minnesota. The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) agrees with the governor that pollinators play a crucial role in the health of our agricultural economy and steps must be taken to ensure their continued health. Long term solutions that protect our pollinators and contribute to the sustainability of our farmers are something in which all Minnesotans have a stake. Minnesota Corn hopes to play a leadership role in the Governor’s new committee on pollinator protection to help advise the Governor and state agencies on how pollinator policies and programs will affect Minnesota farmers.
Bee and other pollinator health topics are complex. Farmers want the best science possible used to evaluate the effects of neonicotinoids and other crop protection products on the protection they offer to essential crops as well as how to minimize detrimental effects on pollinators when used. Restrictions on the use of neonicotinoids or the implementation of other policies that adversely affect farmers’ ability to make a living should be evaluated and implemented carefully. MCGA will be reviewing the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) recently-released Neonicotinoid Special Registration Review over the coming days. We look forward to helping find common sense solutions based in science that contribute to healthier farms and pollinators while making sure Minnesota’s farmers have access to technologies that help them manage risk on their farms.
MCGA has taken significant steps to promote pollinator health and habitat. During the 2016 legislative session, we supported successful legislation that encouraged additional pollinator habitat onto the rural landscape. We also promote the practice of farmers increasing pollinator habitat on marginal farmlands lands and urge farmers to follow best management practices when using crop protection products such as neonicotinoids.
We look forward to working closely with the governor and other state agencies to finding successful and meaningful solutions to improving pollinator health and habitat, while ensuring the viability of our state’s second-largest economic sector.