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Wisconsin Ag News Headlines
State Now Ready to Offer Pollinator Protection Plan
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 04/25/2016

Wisconsin's pollinator protection plan is now complete and available to gardeners, farmers, beekeepers and open lands managers just in time for the growing season. State Agriculture Secretary Ben Brancel says it gives anyone who works with plantings and landscapes some best management practices to protect our pollinators, which are so important to our food supply and our ag economy.

"It's completely voluntary, based on the most current scientific research, and presented in a way that allows people to pull out just the portion that applies to their world," Brancel said.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture contracted with the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Entomology Department to develop the plan. It describes scientific data on risks to pollinators, and recommends best management practices, or BMPs, to protect them. Nearly 30 stakeholder groups had input, including beekeepers, environmental groups, agribusinesses, pesticide manufacturers, commodity groups, government agencies, and tribal governments.

DATCP released a draft plan in January for public comment. Those comments were duly considered and incorporated into the final plan; however, some of the comments suggested changes that are outside DATCP's authority or what the plan was intended to address.

There were 29 unique comments: 19 from individuals, 9 from representatives of organizations and agencies, and 1 comment received from 538 people in a coordinated action alert.

The plan is available online at datcp.wi.gov; search for "pollinator protection plan".

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