Farmscaping and native vegetation

Farmscaping is a holistic approach to pest control that focuses on increasing biodiversity on farms in order to maintain healthy populations of beneficial insects , birds and other wildlife as part of an ecological pest management program.

Benefits of farmscaping:

  • Increasing biodiversity
  • Reduce the need for pesticides
  • Lower cost
  • Reduce the exposure of  harmful chemical to producers and consumers

Farmscaping will require more observation and management that conventional pest control to achieve the maximum benefits.  It may require some experimentation to get the right mix of plants and habitats right and it may be more successful in some years than others. Farmscaping is a useful pest management strategy that is best used in combination with other pest management tactics. Farmscaping has a lot in common with pest suppressive landscapes, with the exception that the latter focuses on existing landscape features to enhance beneficial activity in crops.

Farmscaping components:

  • Hedgerows – these should contain a diverse mix (natives are preferable) of shrubs, trees, flowering plants and grasses
  • Mulches, ground covers and cover crops
  • Insectary plants – a mix of flowering plants can be planted along field edges and buffer zones
    • Plants should provide continuous bloom
    • Bigger, closer and more interconnected patches of resources are better than small patches
    • Maintain a diverse range of flower types, colours, plant architectures, and perennials & annuals
    • Native varieties may be better than the newer, sometimes nectarless varieties
  • Windbreaks and wooded areas
  • Water features – farm dams and streams

More information:

Farmscaping principles (US)

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