Farmers who are extending their rotations with cover crops or a wider array of crops gradually realize another payback: For each “bad bug” in your fields, dozens of beneficial insects start showing up.
And the good bugs wage constant war on the destructive predators.
One of the clearest reports on that fact is in the Canadian farm magazine, Country Guide. It’s by Jay Whetter, who details the success of Terry Young, who “has never sprayed for insects.”
We’ve never sprayed insecticide on our crops either — and we’ve lived on this land 40 years. Each season, we’re counting more songbirds and wildlife. We have virtually no earworm damage on sweet corn or field corn.
One of our Indiana growers who uses cover crops as “our third crop every year” says that covers planted after wheat have plenty of time to grow lush from July through frost, and the wide variety of species in those covers are like a jungle — humming with a huge array of insect species.
Encouraging Mother Nature to manage insect predators is one of the subjects among the 65 workshops at the 2016 MOSES conference Feb. 25-27 in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. MOSES is the acronym for Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service, based in Spring Valley, Wisconsin.
You can download the 8-page conference guide PDF at this link.