Pollinator Habitat Could Boost Crop Yields, Says New Study

Insects can help soybean yields by carrying out more effective pollination than the plants attain without them, according to a recently published study conducted by an international team of scientists. Researchers found that wild bees and honey bees can improve soybean yields upward of 20% when they help to pollinate the soybean plants. The study suggests that introducing pollinator habitat to soybean fields may lead to production benefits, in addition to environmental advantages. “This is another piece of the puzzle that suggests the trade-off between crop production and ecosystem services is not as large as many people think,” said co-author and Iowa State University professor Lisa Schulte Moore. “There might be really nice synergies, especially in soybeans.”