Study shows how to increase canola productivity

Study shows how bees can help to reduce the deficit of pollinators

Gauchos researchers search for ways to increase the productivity of canola. A study shows how bees can help to reduce the deficit of pollinators. At the experimental station of the State Foundation of Rural Research (Fepagro), in Viamão, Rio Grande do Sul, there are six blocks surrounded by a thin screen which work as a laboratory. There is a small canola growth which has different means of pollination inside them, where it is possible to compare the productive potential of flowers with the domestic bee and also with other species.

- We cannot depend on a unique pollinator for agriculture. Then, we search for alternatives for that. We search for alternatives of native bees that had ease handling - explains the researcher of Fepagro, Sidia Witter. In 2009, the fields of canola occupy 35 thousand hectares in five Brazilian states. 70% of crops were in Rio Grande do Sul. The National Company of Supply (Conab) estimates that for crop 2010/2011 70 thousand tons are harvested, an increase of 65% with relation to last year.

- Canola begins as an important element of the biodiesel production in the state, as an excellent alternative of edible oil. We see canola oil recipients at supermarkets and the post-crushing sub-product which is the pie that is rich in proteins and it is offered to cattle - says the coordinator of the project at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica of Rio Grande do Sul, Betina Blochtein.

Canola production in Brazil is still small in comparison with other countries. But, according to researchers, induction of pollination by bees may increase productivity by up to 50%.

The project evaluates if this number can be higher because of landscape on the presence of pollinators. That is what has been done in crops of three regions of the state.

- If we have environments that are suitable for bees in the surroundings of canola crops the index of pollinators increase, the number of insects in these areas increase and this will probably influence productivity - emphasizes Betina.

The first stage of the study will end next year. You may have more information about growth and projects to increase canola productivity on site Pollinators Project of Brazil.

See the video of the subject under study in Campo e Lavoura by clicking here.