Posted on Jan 25, 2010 | Comments 0
The insects that do good to the crops are more attracted to mixed cultures such as prairie than to plain corn cultures, is the result of a study led by professor of Entomology Rufas Isaacs from the State University of Michigan.
As a consequence, those busy with agriculture should pay more attention to bio-fuel planting policies, especially because “good insects” like bees and lady beetles can do the hard work of killing pests and pollinating, and they do it naturally and very efficiently.
According to researches, the soybeans protected by insects such as the ones mentioned above needed less biological pest control, and that meant savings of almost $250,000,000 during one year only!
In order to understand the main conditions which help the beneficial insects are, scientists have compared in a study three types of corps: one of corn, one of switch grass and one of mixed prairie (grass and wildflower).
The results show that even with similar numbers of bees in every crop, their abundance was about four times larger in the switch grass crops and in the native prairie, compared to the corn crops.
It is important to mention that the whole ecosystem (e.g. how the crops are displayed) affects the population of insects; for example, if the switch flower crops are planted separately, as one single crop, the number of beneficial insects will drop significantly. Diversity is the key, and it would be a great gain for agriculture if that would be taken into account.
Filed Under: Science & Technology