CFAP 2 deadline Pollinators not Included

CFAP 2 deadline Pollinators not Included

Maura Bennett
Maura Bennett

Producers have until the end of today to take advantage of the extended sign-up period for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2.

Additional commodities were added in CFAP 2 but among those not eligible are pollinators.

That’s making it much harder for commercial beekeepers likeBarry Hart and his son who provide pollination services to producers in Georgia, Florida, Michigan, and California with their 4 thousand beehives.

Hart: “We could count our honey as a crop for CFAP but we could not count our pollination services. If it weren’t for the bees sitting out in that almond crop in California there wouldn’t be a commodity out there.

Hart, owner of Hart Honey Farms in Fargo Georgia trucks his bees around the southeast and out west to pollinate zucchini, squash cucumber, blueberries, and other commodities. He says the pollinator services are as valuable as the honey crop especially after lost honey production due to the Greening Disease hitting Florida’s citrus groves.

Hart says they used to close the hives every fall but now he and his son are “chasing the bees all around the country about 52 weeks out of the year.” And there’s a lot of pollination needed for seed crops.

Hart:” A carrot doesn't need a bee to pollinate it to make a carrot but it needs a bee to pollinate it to make seeds so the farmer can take that seed and grow the carrots.”

Hart says he’ll take his bees to Michigan next, then to south Florida for the mid-summer pepper crops and some will go back to Georgia for cotton before shipping close to 18 semi-loads out to California in January.

CFAP2 also excludes hay, except alfalfa, and crops intended for grazing; all equine, breeding stock, companion and comfort animals, pets and animals raised for hunting and game purposes; clover; cover crop; fallow; forage soybeans, commercial and home gardens.

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