This guide is US-focused. Grow bountiful organic crops while improving the biodiversity of your farm by making your land a welcoming place for native beneficial insects. Mantids, stink bugs, beetles, flies, wasps, and many others prey upon crop pests, reducing or eliminating the need for chemical pesticides. Your first step is learning to identify these important farm heroes: close-up photography and in-depth profiles familiarize you with more than 20 beneficial insects and their kin. After assessing your land, current practices, and goals, you'll find detailed instructions for a host of projects, from beetle banks to organic buffers, to improve habitat for your insect helpers.
Planting projects for providing healthy habitats include:
- Insectary strips
- Native plant field borders
- Cover crops
- Contour buffer strips
- Grassed waterways
The Xerces Society is a nonprofit organization based in Portland, Oregon, that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat. Established in 1971, the Society is at the forefront of invertebrate protection worldwide, harnessing the knowledge of scientists and the enthusiasm of citizens to implement conservation programs. They are the authors of 100 Plants to Feed the Bees, Farming with Native Beneficial Insects, and Attracting Native Pollinators.