Source: Native Pollinators in Agriculture Project

National agriculture and conservation leaders are gathering later this month to explore ways to stabilize and enhance threatened native pollinator populations that contribute to a $20 billion fruit, nut, vegetable and field crop production industry in the United States.

The Native Pollinator in Agriculture Work Group estimates that 15 percent of the combined value of U.S fruit, nut, vegetable and field crop production can be attributed to pollination services provided by native bees.

On Feb. 24-25, the Work Group is hosting a national forum on Native Pollinators in Agriculture. The forum, to be held immediately prior to the 2009 USDA Agriculture Outlook Conference, will feature latest information on CCD and steps the ag community can take to capitalize on the "free" services provided by native pollinators.

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