Syngenta Operation Pollinator on-farm program expands its footprint in Ontario

Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Operation Pollinator, a Syngenta program focused on research and partnerships to promote the health and well-being of bees and other pollinators given their essential role in agriculture and nature, is expanding its on-farm footprint in Ontario.   

The Soil Conservation Council of Canada, which has a partnership with Syngenta to support the delivery of the on-farm component of Operation Pollinator, is collaborating with the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) to offer the program to farmers in Ontario in 2018. 

“We are very pleased to have been selected to deliver Operation Pollinator in Ontario,” says Andrew Graham, Executive Director of OSCIA. “It provides a wonderful opportunity for producers to demonstrate their reliance on pollinators by expanding habitat on their farms, and the project is a logical extension to the environmental programs that OSCIA is widely known for.”

Interested Ontario-based producers agreed to convert one-to-two acres of lower-productivity land to establish a dedicated Operation Pollinator site. In exchange for dedicating the land, participating producers receive a provision of high-quality, pollinator-friendly wildflower seed, agronomic advice, and assistance to help offset site establishment costs. OSCIA saw a strong response to the program and it is already fully subscribed. 

The goal of the program is to establish and maintain new pollinator-friendly habitat over the long term, study and learn from these sites, and enhance biodiversity for the benefit of the larger ecosystem. 

Initially launched in April 2017, the Operation Pollinator on-farm program has enrolled 100 Prairie-based producers in cooperation with the program’s three provincial partners - the Agriculture Research and Extension Council of Alberta (ARECA), Manitoba Conservation Districts Association (MCDA) and the Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association (SSCA).

“We continue to see the benefits from Operation Pollinator activities. We are very encouraged by the uptake of the program in Western Canada, and we’re excited to offer Operation Pollinator to farmers in Ontario this spring,” says Dr. Paul Hoekstra, Senior Stewardship and Policy Manager with Syngenta Canada. 

“The Soil Conservation Council of Canada is excited about continuing and expanding our partnership with Syngenta and our provincial partners on the Operation Pollinator program,” says Jim Tokarchuk, the organization’s Executive Director.  “Supporting biodiversity on the agricultural landscape, improving soil health and working with strong partners like Syngenta and OSCIA helps us to deliver on our national mandate to advocate for and advance conservation and soil health in Canada”.