Navigation Links
Increasing predator-friendly land can help farmers reduce costs
Date:5/11/2012

EAST LANSING, Mich. Having natural habitat in farming areas that supports ladybugs could help increase their abundance in crops where they control pests and help farmers reduce their costs, says a Michigan State University study.

Ladybugs and other predatory insects eat crop pests, saving farmers an estimated $4.6 billion a year on insecticides. Non-crop plants provide these predatory insects with food and shelter, helping them to survive and thrive in areas where they are needed. In an attempt to increase benefits from predatory insects, researchers have often planted strips of flowers along the edges of crop fields.

However, natural habitats also provide vital food and shelter resources and may be more important for pest control, said Megan Woltz, MSU doctoral student and co-author of the study that appears in the current issue of Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment.

"Creating predator-attracting habitats next to crops is only a partial solution," said Woltz, who co-authored the study with MSU entomologists Doug Landis and Rufus Isaacs. "Ladybugs and many other pest-eating insects travel long distances throughout the growing season, sometimes flying or crawling over many miles as they search for food and shelter. So we also have to consider what resources are available to these predators at larger scales."

Ladybugs are heralded as a natural, effective killer of soybean aphids, the most-destructive soybean pest in the northern United States. To determine the best way to attract ladybugs to soybean fields, researchers planted buckwheat strips next to soybean fields and also examined the amount of natural habitat within 1.5 miles of the fields.

"Ladybugs loved our buckwheat strips," Woltz said. "We always found way more ladybugs in the buckwheat than are usually in field edges. Unfortunately, all of the ladybugs in the buckwheat did little to change their populations in the soybean fields."

Ultimately, natural habitat proved to be more important. The amount of grasslands and forests within 1.5 miles of the soybean fields determined how many ladybugs ended up in the field, she added.

Such large areas typically encompass multiple farms, suggesting that rural neighbors may need to work together. In other studies, landscapes with at least 20 percent of non-crop habitat showed good pest control. Providing some habitat on every farm and the properties that surround them would add up to a lot of habitat at the landscape scale the scale that matters to ladybugs.


'/>"/>

Contact: Layne Cameron
layne.cameron@cabs.msu.edu
517-353-8819
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Time running out on coral reefs as climate change becomes increasing threat
2. UConn chemists find secret to increasing luminescence efficiency of carbon nanotubes
3. GEN highlights increasing use of digital gene expression profiling
4. Increasing levels of rare element found worldwide
5. Early identification of dementia increasingly difficult
6. Study finds colorectal cancer rates increasing worldwide
7. Global warming increasing the dispersal of flora in Northern forests
8. Novel mechanism revealed for increasing recombinant protein yield in tobacco
9. CSHL-led team discovers rare mutation dramatically increasing schizophrenia risk
10. Evidence of increasing antibiotic resistance
11. Ritalin boosts learning by increasing brain plasticity
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/1/2016)... Rising sales of consumer electronics ... intuitive gesture control market size ... consumer electronics coupled with new technological advancements to drive ... through 2020   --> ... advancements to drive global touchfree intuitive gesture control market ...
(Date:1/27/2016)... Jan. 27, 2016  Rite Track, Inc. a leading ... West Chester, Ohio announced today the ... staff, based in Austin, Texas , ... to provide modifications, installations and technical support offerings for ... of PLUS, commented, "PLUS has provided world class service ...
(Date:1/22/2016)... http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/p74whf/global_biometrics ) ... "Global Biometrics Market in Retail Sector 2016-2020" ... --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/p74whf/global_biometrics ) has announced the ... in Retail Sector 2016-2020" report to ... and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/p74whf/global_biometrics ) has announced ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... Franz Inc. , ... Database technology, today announced the availability of AllegroGraph 6, the leading Semantic Graph ... Cloudera Certified Technology Program (CCPT). AllegroGraph is the first Semantic Graph Database ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... February 8, 2016 ... or the "Company"), the ultra-rapid Point-Of-Care (POC) molecular diagnostics company, ... its Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) test to be launched on the ... Directive (98/79/EC), the CT test is now cleared for sale ... --> The launch of the io® CT test signals ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... , Feb. 5, 2016  In the pharmaceutical industry ... a host of launch activities including the identification and ... launch activity is especially high in the oncology therapeutic ... Best Practices and the Role of Medical Affairs in ... focused on oncology therapies find better ways to utilize ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 04, 2016 , ... ... talent development and compliance training, today announced an interactive FDA compliance training ... The RAPS (Regulatory Affairs Professional Society) accredited interactive course on Morf Playbook—now ...
Breaking Biology Technology: