Project: Pollinator-friendly farms: advisory materials for farmers

Duration: 1–12.2021

Project lead: Traci Birge, Dept of Agricultural Sciences (agroecology), 

Consortium: University of Helsinki, BSAG

Advisory team: FM Eija Hagelberg (Carbon Action/BSAG), FT Juho Paukkunen (Luomus), MMM Lotta Kaila (Luke & University of Helsinki), and MMM Juuso Joona (Tyynelä Farm).

Funder: Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation

Short description: What is a pollinator-friendly farm, and how can farmers increase pollinators on their own farms?

This project aims to provide farmers with the knowledge needed to enhance the conditions for pollinators on their farms. The main output will be a practical guide (Finnish and Swedish) for farmers.

Pollinator loss has been documented around the world and is part of the wider biodiversity crisis. Agriculture is responsible for pollinator decline but can also provide solutions. The main pollinating animals in Finland are bees, hoverflies, and butterflies. Pollinators need foraging plants as well as nesting and overwintering spots. However, landscape simplification such as bigger fields and fewer meadows, as well as use of plant protection products, all take their toll on pollinators.

Pollinator-friendly farms concept is a way to communicate the best practices for pollinator conservation to farmers and to raise public awareness about pollinators and farming. The project will develop the concept for Finnish farms through scientific literature review and interviews with researchers in Finland. The concept directly supports the aims of the national pollinator strategy and regenerative farming.

The literature review and expert interviews will also form the basis for robust and practical advisory materials for farmers. Advisory materials will also benefit from lessons learned and examples from other countries – especially from the Nordic region – and will include cases from Finnish farmers about their own activities for pollinators on their farms. In addition to the practical guide, the project will arrange a webinar with experts and a video-recorded farm day showcasing actions for pollinator conservation.

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