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Research Review Shows Smaller Fields Better for Beneficial Insects

Entomologists at Michigan State University have published a review of recent research, showing that beneficial insects are more abundant in an agricultural landscape with smaller fields and more diversity. “One of the take-homes from our review is that natural enemies can be more abundant when agricultural landscapes are made up of smaller farm fields,” explained study co-author Nate Haan. “Some natural enemies need resources found in other habitats or in crop field edges. We think when habitat patches are small, they are more likely to find their way back and forth between these habitats and crop fields, or from one crop field into another.” The results could help farmers save money on pest suppression by planning agricultural landscapes that include more diversity.