Blog •  6/13/2024

Why Caring for Crops Requires Caring for Pollinators

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Bees in a beehive

Busy bee. Hive of activity. Making a beeline. People have come up with lots of phrases that express a certain admiration for the industriousness of bees. Like us, many bee species live in societies, communicating with each other and working together. Whether they’re foraging, eating, nurturing young or guarding the hive, bees mean business.

Of course, in agriculture, bees — and the many other pollinators we don’t have cute quips for — literally mean business. Pollinators bring an estimated $34 billion in value to U.S. crops alone1. Some crops — including watermelons, blueberries, pumpkins, cocoa beans and vanilla — depend completely on pollinators. Without them, farmers could lose up to 90% of their harvests2. Pollinators even benefit crops that aren’t dependent on them. Soybeans, for example, show a yield boost when pollinators visit their blooms3.

35% of food production around the world benefits from pollinators that require certain environmental conditions to flourish4. Since farmers and pollinators have such a mutually beneficial relationship, it makes sense for agriculture to have a leading role in creating more places where pollinators can thrive. This is an effort Corteva Agriscience supports in everyday ways through our operations and community commitments.

Biodiversity and protecting pollinator populations

Biodiversity is one of the four sustainability focus areas for Corteva Agriscience. Biodiversity isn’t only good for the environment, it’s absolutely vital to agriculture, which relies on a complex system of organisms each playing their part. From bacteria that help circulate nutrients in the soil, to insects that feed on certain pests, to pollinators that help propagate the crops we all depend on, when we enhance biodiversity, we enhance the ecosystem’s ability to support itself and remain healthy and productive. As Corteva continues to expand our biodiversity efforts, we’re already making contributions to pollinator populations where we operate and in farmers’ fields. Here are three examples of where we’re making strides.

1. Expanding habitats on our operations

Corteva Agriscience manages thousands of acres at company locations around the world, and each location presents an opportunity to enhance biodiversity. We recently completed surveys at our nearly 200 facilities to give us a better understanding of how to improve biodiversity at each site. The activities we’re already engaging in — and are expanding worldwide — include planting native vegetation and trees, preserving wetlands and expanding and protecting pollinator habitats. When we enhance biodiversity, pollinators benefit.

2. Partnering with like-minded organizations

Corteva works closely with other organizations that have an interest in preserving biodiversity and pollinators. One example is our joint program with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever and National 4-H. Through this program, more than 30,000 youth have been involved in increasing pollinator habitats and learning how to do this same type of habitat-building in their own communities. To date, we’ve planted 70 pollinator gardens near or at our Corteva sites in the United States alone through this partnership effort.

3. Developing products with pollinators in mind 

100% of newly developed Corteva solutions in our pipeline meet sustainability criteria. These crop protection, seed, and biological crop health products are specifically designed with biodiversity advantages, thinking about non-target organisms including pollinators. This includes characteristics inherent to the products themselves — like targeted active ingredients that break down quickly in the environment and formulations that are designed to stay put after they are applied — as well as easy-to-follow application instructions to minimize pollinator impact. All of these efforts enable farmers to control pests that can devastate crops while preserving beneficial ones.

Corteva products are also engineered to improve farm productivity. When farmers can get more out of the acres already in use, less land has to be converted to agriculture. This leaves more areas available for habitats that support a whole range of species including pollinators. In some cases, improved productivity can even allow ground to be returned to non-agricultural use. The more we can produce on the farmland we have, the more we can preserve areas for wildlife of all types.

Where pollinators thrive, so do farms. By supporting biodiversity, Corteva is helping ensure pollinators have the habitats they need to keep busy doing their good work, to the benefit of farmers and all of us.


1Marks, R. (2005). Native Pollinators. Fish and Wildlife Habitat Management Leaflet, 34.

2Ritchie, H. (2021, August 2). How much of the world’s food production is dependent on pollinators? Our World in Data. Retrieved June 28, 2022, from,countries%20rely%20on%20for%20trade.

3Garibaldi, L. A., Schulte, L. A., Nabaes Jodar, D. N., Gomez Carella, D. S., & Kremen, C. (2021). Time to integrate pollinator science into soybean production. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 36(7), 573–575.

4Alexandra-Maria Klein et al., “Importance of Pollinators in Changing Landscapes for World Crops,” Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 274, no. 1608 (October 27, 2006): 303–13,