Researchers are finding that crops planted near wild areas appear tobenefit more from nature than first thought. The Great Lakes RadioConsortium’sLester Graham reports:
Researchers are finding that crops planted near wild areas appear to benefit
more from nature than first thought. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s
Lester Graham reports.
Researchers at Michigan State University’s Kellogg Biological Station are
studying the effect of nature on crops. They’ve found woods or overgrown
fence rows near farms can be home to beneficial insects. Kay gross is a
plant ecologist. She says farmers might even be helped by certain kinds of
weeds- but only certain kinds.
“And i do not want to say weeds are not a bad thing. In fact, when I
talk to farmers, I say ‘you know, ecologists, we think diversity is good.
and i say to you as a farmer, you don’t always want diversity. What you want
is a specific kind of community there.’ The question is how do you enhance
some of these species that will have beneficial effects and not the negative
Gross says it will take years of study to find those benefits- but she and
other researchers say it’s already clear that nature can play a greater role
in increasing crop yields and reducing pesticide use.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, this is Lester Graham.