Here is a great article explaining the complex importance of providing beneficial insect and pollinator species with food and shelter on your operation. Along with information on just how easy this is to accomplish. This is an important read for all of us to think about.
Insects and animals pollinate approximately 75% of the crop plants grown worldwide for food, fiber, beverages, condiments, spices, and medicines. If your farm is growing any crops that require insect pollination to produce maximum yield, it is vital to provide food and shelter for these beneficial species. There are nearly 4,000 wild bee species in North America, all of which are dependent upon a consistent pollen/nectar source through the entire growing season. Green Cover Seed carries more than 35 plant species that are highly attractive and supportive to pollinator species. We can help you custom design mixtures that will flower and attract beneficial insects prior to the time your cash crop will need their services.Giving beneficial insects a sanctuary free of pesticides and tillage and providing plant material for nesting fulfills the majority of the needed requirements to develop a healthy population. Many of our beneficial predatory insects also rely on alternative food sources such as nectar at some point of their life cycle. If you have been battling a pestspecies in your crops, it may be that you have created an environment in which that pest can thrive and not be challenged. Attracting beneficial and predatory insects will lead to a more balanced system, and pest problems naturally become less of a concern. SARE has a number of excellent resources for pollinators including a new free guide that can be found here:www.sare.org/Learning-Center/Bulletins/Cover-Cropping-for-Pollinators-and-Beneficial-Insects
Managing cover crops profitably 3rd edition is any excellent book, that anyone serious about cover crops should at least read once. Take the time and look at this section of the book as it talks about brassicas and mustards as a whole.
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