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Virginia Tech Study Testing Bee-Friendly Cattle Forage

A study led by a Virginia Tech professor will test pasture mixes of native prairie grasses and wildflowers to find the best combination for both cattle and bees. A team that includes Virginia Tech, the University of Tennessee, cooperating farmers, and a nonprofit called Virginia Working Landscapes received a federal grant for half of the $1.8 million project. The team will test 20 different wildflowers in combination with native grasses on pastures at research centers and on farms in Tennessee and Virginia. Adding native wildflowers to pastures in the fescue belt could become a new conservation practice that USDA’s National Resource Conservation Service will cost share, based on the results of this study.