Increased biodiversity reduces pest problems on farms

Photo credit: Don Lavange Photo credit: Don Lavange

A new study published in Science Advances has found that farming practices that promote biodiversity also increase natural pest control on farms by increasing the number of beneficial predators that attack crop pests. Researchers compared insect diversity on 53 cornfields in South Dakota. They found that farms that had more insect species that were abundant and evenly distributed across the farm also had fewer pest problems, suggesting that adopting methods that benefit biodiversity on farms is not only more environmentally friendly and sustainable but also increases benefits to farmers such as pest control, which can increase profits.