Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District

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Stripes of wildflowers across farm fields could cut pesticide spraying

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Tailored flower strips allow pest-eating insects to reach throughout crop fields

Long strips of bright wildflowers are being planted through crop fields to boost the natural predators of pests and potentially cut pesticide spraying.

The strips were planted on 15 large arable farms in central and eastern England last autumn and will be monitored for five years, as part of a trial run by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH).

Concern over the environmental damage caused by pesticides has grown rapidly in recent years. Using wildflower margins to support insects including hoverflies, parasitic wasps and ground beetles has been shown to slash pest numbers in crops and even increase yields.

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Source:  Damian Carrington, The Guardian, January 31, 2018

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