Friday, August 1, 2014

Insect Spotlight: Covering the soil to reduce pest insects

Cover crops are all the rage these days, and may be a part of the solution for problems confronting the long-term sustainability of agricultural production in the U.S. Simply defined, cover crops are plant "place-holders," designed to cover bare soil during fallow periods and in between growing seasons. Their benefits are myriad, from reducing soil erosion, to replenishing soil nutrients, to suppressing weeds, to growing soil microbial communities. I would argue that another benefit of cover crops that is too often overlooked (arguably the most important benefit) is in reducing pest insects and growing beneficial insect communities.

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