(fwd) New: Farmscaping to Enhance Biological Control [ATTRA]

Lawrence F. London, Jr. lflondon at mindspring.com
Thu Mar 1 23:03:49 EST 2001

Date:         Thu, 1 Mar 2001 15:30:01 -0600
Sender:       Sustainable Agriculture Network Discussion Group
               <SANET-MG at LISTS.IFAS.UFL.ED
Comments:     Authenticated sender is <steved at ncatark.uark.edu>
From:         Steve Diver <steved at NCATARK.UARK.EDU>
Subject:      New: Farmscaping to Enhance Biological Control [ATTRA]

 Announcing this newly revised and expanded publication from

 Farmscaping to Enhance Biological Control       [HTML]

 Farmscaping to Enhance Biological Control       [PDF]

 In a nutshell, this is a beautiful publication that summarizes a
 practical way to attract beneficial insects to your farm.  These
 are the natural enemies (predators and parasites) of crop pests.
 If you can attract them to your fields by raising cover crops or
 flowers, they will work for you as biological control agents.

 Kenny Haines, an organic vegetable farmer in North Carolina,
 says that beneficial bugs like to congregate, socialize, "get
 married" and have babies; like college students.

 Well, if you're going to host a bug party and get these predators and
 parasites to show up and battle those pesky insects that eat on your
 tomatoes, you will need to provide habitat and shelter and food and
 drinks.  Extrafloral nectar -- provided by cover crops like faba
 beans and buckwheat, oftentimes raised in windbreak-like field
 strips -- is an especially popular drink among these beneficial bugs.

 The Farmscaping publication itself is beautiful, because ATTRA has a
 new copy machine that can publish materials in booklet format.

 So you may want to order a print version for your library, or just
 download the PDF version and print it off to create your own
 booklet.  The HTML version is web enhanced with indexes and

 At the same time Rex Dufour, our IPM specialist, put a lot of
 time and effort into compiling tables and resources and web links
 that summarize what farmscaping is all about.

 The introduction provides some terminology and concepts associated
 with farmscaping.  This is followed with ideas on cropping patterns
 to take advantage of ecologically-based pest control; for example,
 how to use cover crops, trap crops, hedgerows and mulches.
 There is also a section on birds and bats as insect predators, with
 ideas and resources on housing.

 In addition, there are sections on federal cost share programs for
 habitat development; useful contacts and information on farmscaping;
 websites; literature citations for additional reading; and books on
 farmscaping, biological control and IPM.

 Finally, the Appendices contain detailed tables on beneficial
 insects, insectary plants, pests that can be controlled, seed blends
 and seed sources, etc.

 Appendix A: Plants that Attract Beneficials
 Appendix B: Pests and Associated Beneficial Insects
 Appendix C: Seed Blends, Plants and Sprays to Attract Beneficial
 Appendix D: Examples of Farmscaping
 Appendix E: Hedgerow Installation and Maintenance Cost Estimates
 Appendix F: Sample Flowering Period Chart
 Appendix G: Farmscaping Practices Defined

 Here I would like to expand on the importance of farmscaping, and
 why it can be viewed as a fundamental approach to ecologically-based
 pest control.

 In other words, before you pull out the remedial pest control
 sprays -- the soaps and oils and botanical insecticides -- what can
 you do to get these beneficial insects to work for you and enhance
 natural biological control on the farm?

 A few years ago, Rincon-Vitova put out an information leaflet called
 "Rincon-Vitova 5-Point Integrated Pest Control" that summarized
 this approach in a nutshell.

 Ricon-Vitova is the biological insectary company in California
 established by Dr. Everett Dietrick, the biocontrol pioneer from
 University of California.

 Rincon-Vitova 5-Point Integrated Pest Control.

 1. Colonizing Beneficial Organisms

 Use insectary-raised beneficials selectively to help restore the
 natural enemy complex damaged by pesticide use.

 2. Cover Crop Refuges

 Plant strips of pesticide-free trap cover crops as a field insectary
 and winter refuge for beneficials.

 3. Monitoring

 Sample (with nets or vacuums) and observe the relative number of
 pests and beneficials.

 4. Spraying

 Do not spray if there is no pest problem! Use "soft" pesticides that
 are less disruptive to natural biological controls.

 5. Cultural Practices

 Slight changes in farming methods can alter the behavior of pests and
 their natural enemies to favor the crop. Crop rotation, hedgerows,
 strip cutting, and other refuge management techniques do make a

 Interestingly, this 5-point plan originated with a paper titled
 "The Five Features of IPM", written by Everett J. Dietrick in

 If you look at these five points, you will notice that two of the
 five points deal in some way or another with farmscaping. Thus,
 raising insectary plants and manipulating habitat for beneficial
 insects is basic to Biointensive IPM.

 Dr. Miguel Altierri, another biocontrol pioneer with the University
 of California, uses the terms Associated Biodiversity and Planned

 ASSOCIATED BIODIVERSITY -- Biodiversity of surrounding environment

 PLANNED BIODIVERSTY -- Agroecosystem management

 In a paper titled "The Ecological Role of Biodiversity in
 Agroecosystems" [Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment,
 74 (1991): 19-31], he summarizes the components, functions,
 and enhancement strategies of biodiversity in agroecosystems.

 COMPONENTS (predators and parasites, earthworms, soil microflora)

 FUNCTIONS (nutrient cycling, decomposition, predation, disease

 ENHANCEMENT STRATEGIES (intercropping, agroforestry,
 rotations, cover crops, composting, green manuring, organic matter

 In other words, Planned Biodiversity can be facilitated through
 Enhancement Strategies.....  such as farmscaping.

 Author:         Rex Dufour
 Date:           December 2000
 Title:                  Farmscaping to Enhance Biological Control
 Pages:          38
 Who:            Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas,
 What:           Pest Management Series


 Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA)
 P.O. Box 3657
 Fayetteville, AR 72702
 501-442-9842 Fax

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