Study Explores Relationship Between Pollinators and Oilseed Plants

Scientists at South Dakota State University recently completed a two-year research project into the relationship between pollinators and the oilseed crop Brassica carinata. The researchers found that the more pollinators–including native pollinators–visited the field, the higher the yield of the plants. They noted that a high number of pollinator visits could double seed set, and that the greater the landscape diversity around the test plots, the higher the seed yield and the higher the insect visitation. In turn, the carinata’s pollen production ability can play a role in honeybee hive health. The researchers also found that neonictinoid seed treatments modified plant-pollinator interactions with pollinators not preferring plants from treated seed, and potential for contamination of nectar and pollen by the chemical.