Integrated Crop Pollination

Facing the decline of some bee populations, specialty-crop farmers are looking for new ways to ensure adequate pollination and profitable yields. Integrated Crop Pollination (ICP) is a concept that combines the use of managed pollinators (such as honey bees and mason bees) with the restoration of habitat for wild pollinators, and the adoption of farm practices that reduce negative impacts on bees.

These strategies are the focus of Project ICP – a multi-year project funded by the USDA’s Specialty Crops Research Initiative. As a partner in Project ICP, Xerces is working with a broad range of interdisciplinary stakeholders, including farmers, research institutions, and federal agencies to refine the use of ICP practices on farms across the U.S. and British Columbia.

The goals of Project ICP include:

  • Developing best practices for enhancing pollinator habitat on farms.
  • Creating tools to help farmers evaluate the effectiveness of crop pollination, recognize their most important crop pollinators, and make informed investments to improve pollination.
  • Improving the management of alternative bees such as bumble bees and mason bees.
  • Assessing barriers to ICP adoption and developing new outreach strategies that empower farmers to better manage crop pollination.
  • The dissemination of research results at events for farmers, crop consultants, and USDA personnel nationwide.

To learn more about Project ICP or to get involved, visit the Project ICP’s web site. You can also connect to the project via Facebook.