Monday, 8 August 2016

Insect of the Week (Aug 08, 2016) - Natural Predators

The importance of non-crop areas as habitat for beneficial insects

Last year, the focus of the Beneficial Insect of the Week was crop pests. This year, we’re changing things up and highlighting the many natural enemies that help you out, silently and efficiently killing off crop pests. [note: featured Insects of the Week in 2015 are available on the Insect of the Week page] 

Natural enemies don’t just appear from nowhere – they rely on nearby non-crop and (semi-)natural sites for shelter, food, overwintering sites and alternate hosts for when crop pests are either not present or in low numbers. How you manage these sites can have a huge impact on natural enemies’ capacity to supress pests when you need them to. These same sites are also essential habitats for pollinators, important for maximizing yield of non-cereal seed crops (e.g. oil seed crop). A recent publication, ‘Agricultural practices that promote crop pest suppression by natural predators’, describes the role of non-crop areas and management practices to nurture natural enemy populations.

Go to the Insect of the Week page for download links for this publication. There you will also find more information about natural enemies, the pests they control and details about important crop and forage pest insects by downloading the new Field Crop and Forage Pests and their Natural Enemies in Western Canada - Identification and Management Field Guide.