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Insects 2017, 8(3), 79; doi:10.3390/insects8030079

Understanding Barriers to Participation in Cost-Share Programs For Pollinator Conservation by Wisconsin (USA) Cranberry Growers

Department of Entomology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Zsofia Szendrei and Amanda Buchanan
Received: 31 May 2017 / Revised: 20 July 2017 / Accepted: 28 July 2017 / Published: 1 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Habitat Management in Agroecosystems)
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Abstract

The expansion of modern agriculture has led to the loss and fragmentation of natural habitat, resulting in a global decline in biodiversity, including bees. In many countries, farmers can participate in cost-share programs to create natural habitat on their farms for the conservation of beneficial insects, such as bees. Despite their dependence on bee pollinators and the demonstrated commitment to environmental stewardship, participation in such programs by Wisconsin cranberry growers has been low. The objective of this study was to understand the barriers that prevent participation by Wisconsin cranberry growers in cost-share programs for on-farm conservation of native bees. We conducted a survey of cranberry growers (n = 250) regarding farming practices, pollinators, and conservation. Although only 10% of growers were aware of federal pollinator cost-share programs, one third of them were managing habitat for pollinators without federal aid. Once informed of the programs, 50% of growers expressed interest in participating. Fifty-seven percent of growers manage habitat for other wildlife, although none receive cost-share funding to do so. Participation in cost-share programs could benefit from outreach activities that promote the programs, a reduction of bureaucratic hurdles to participate, and technical support for growers on how to manage habitat for wild bees. View Full-Text
Keywords: bees; agri-environment scheme; pollinator habitat; two-wave mail survey; program participation; EQIP; CRP; classification tree analysis; USDA Farm Bill bees; agri-environment scheme; pollinator habitat; two-wave mail survey; program participation; EQIP; CRP; classification tree analysis; USDA Farm Bill
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Gaines-Day, H.R.; Gratton, C. Understanding Barriers to Participation in Cost-Share Programs For Pollinator Conservation by Wisconsin (USA) Cranberry Growers. Insects 2017, 8, 79.

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