Birds reduced insect pests in conventional alfalfa by over 33%, according to a new study published in Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. Habitat is key: the reduction of pests occurs where crops are near habitat. The study found that the fields with bordering trees had a lower number of pest weevils near those field borders, indicating that birds are very important pest control operators. When farms provide habitat near food sources (in this case pest insects), they benefit more than those farms without habitat on the edges.Read more
No farmer wants to lose land to flooding, or have excessive codling moth in their walnut orchard, but those were the issues facing Paul Hain of Hain Ranch Organics.
A past flooding event took several acres of the walnut orchard, and the ever present codling moth threatened yields. Paul wanted to try a natural solution.Read more