Cornell Study Values Pollinated crops at over $15 Billion

Published in PLoS One By Nick Calderone

Insect Pollinated Crops, Insect Pollinators and US Agriculture: Trend Analysis of Aggregate Data for the Period 1992–2009.


In the US, the cultivated area (hectares) and production (tonnes) of crops that require or benefit from insect pollination (directly dependent crops: apples, almonds, blueberries, cucurbits, etc.) increased from 1992, the first year in this study, through 1999 and continued near those levels through 2009; aggregate yield (tonnes/hectare) remained unchanged. 

The value of directly dependent crops attributed to all insect pollination (2009 USD) decreased from $14.29 billion in 1996, the first year for value data in this study, to $10.69 billion in 2001, but increased thereafter, reaching $15.12 billion by 2009.

The values attributed to honey bees and non-Apispollinators followed similar patterns, reaching $11.68 billion and $3.44 billion, respectively, by 2009. The cultivated area of crops grown from seeds resulting from insect pollination (indirectly dependent crops: legume hays, carrots, onions, etc.) was stable from 1992 through 1999, but has since declined. Production of those crops also declined, albeit not as rapidly as the decline in cultivated area; this asymmetry was due to increases in aggregate yield.

Read the entire paper here.

(The above brought us by CATCH THE BUZZ (Kim Flottum) Bee Culture, The Magazine of American Beekeeping, published by A.I. Root Company.)