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Manage Insects on Your Farm

bee on flower

Agricultural pests blemish, damage or destroy more than 30 percent of crops worldwide. This annual loss has remained constant since the 1940s, when most farmers and ranchers began using agrichemicals to control pests.

Farmers need insect pest management strategies that are effective, affordable and environmentally sound. Manage Insects on Your Farm: A Guide to Ecological Strategies is a pest management primer designed to help farmers improve their farms’ natural defenses against insect pests.

While every farming system is unique, the principles of ecological pest management apply universally. Manage Insects on Your Farm outlines the principles of ecologically based pest management and illustrates the strategies used by farmers around the world to address insect problems by:

Increasing on-farm diversity above and below ground
Encouraging beneficial insects to attack their worst pests
Enhancing plants’ natural defenses against pests
Managing soil to minimize crop pests

“Well written and illustrated, Manage Insects on Your Farm provides both a framework for understanding ecologically based pest management as well as many of the useful details to help minimize insect pest problems,” said Fred Magdoff, University of Vermont soil scientist and regional coordinator of USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program.

Examples of successful pest management strategies featured throughout the book demonstrate real-life examples of how to address insect problems and develop a more complex and diverse on-farm ecosystem. Readers will learn how to minimize insect damage with wise soil management and identify beneficial insects to put these “good bugs” to work.

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