USDA-ARS National Program 305

NP 305 Research Components

NP 305, Crop Production, focuses on the most critical issues and needs of U.S. production agriculture. It comprises two major Research Components: (1) Integrated Sustainable Crop Production Systems and (2) Bees and Pollination.

Component 1. Integrated Sustainable Crop Production Systems
This component encompasses ARS efforts to improve existing and develop new production systems for current and emerging crops. Production systems are highly complex and depend on the integration of multiple management components. Innovative technologies, methods, and strategies are vital to maintaining and improving profitability of production systems, conserving energy and natural resources, and promoting agroecosystem sustainability, including marginal lands or urbanized environments.

Component 2. Bees and Pollination
Bees are crucial for U.S. agriculture and ecosystem health. The honey bee is one of the most effective pollinators for fruit and nut crops such as cherries, apples, and almonds; row crops such as cucurbits and melons; oilseed crops such as sunflowers and canola; and berries. Given the pollinating potential of a honey bee colony due to its wide foraging area, the large numbers of bees in a typical healthy colony, the ease at which honey bees can adapt to new environments, and the value of hive products, honey bees play critical roles in many specialty crop commodities. Non-Apis bees, including bumble bees, alfalfa leafcutter bees, and blue orchard bees, are also effective pollinators of agricultural crops and many native plant species. Native bees, some living solitary or in small colonies, perform ecosystem services of value that cannot be estimated.

Current Action Plan
NP 305 Action Plan 2018 – 2023

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