Pest Problems for Corn Production
A recent study done by Jonathan Lundgren, an agro-ecologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Scott Fausti, a professor at South Dakota State University, revealed that cornfields benefit more from having a more diverse insect population than from pesticides. After harvesting 50 plants, which included dissecting around 2,650 plants and identifying more than 3,700 specimens, they discovered that having a diverse insect population can reduce the cost incurred from using insecticides. By using no-till methods and a diverse crop rotation plan, farmers can improve and balance insect diversity.
The increased tendency to use chemicals to control the insect population has had some unwanted side effects linked with the destruction of non-targeted insects along with harmful ones. Farmers can lower their input costs by diversifying their crop system and reducing their need to use insecticides. Encouraging a more diverse insect population to grow helps naturally control pests, eliminating the need for insecticides and helping the growth of crops as well as the environment. Researchers advise farmers to focus on their profits, pointing out that diversity in their crops will also decrease fluctuations in their revenue. The idea is not to put all your eggs in one basket.
How do you control your pests? Is your garden balanced?