The ultimate goal is to find a mix of plants that help increase yield, which would support the care required to nurture the plants.
The Earth was created in such a way that it is able to replenish itself, but it's been stripped of all its nutrients because it's been overused quite a bit. There is an ecosystem of its own in a farm, and sadly, several conventional practices have ruined it by the use of pesticides. Sometimes, the use of pesticides can't really be avoided because crops can be damaged by the wrong kind of insect or other invaders. But pests have been creating problems for farmers for quite some time now. After a while, these pests become resistant to the poison. Not just that, the use of these chemicals can be unhealthy for workers and potentially for the people who come in contact with the produce used in their food.
According to Fast Company, farmers are now testing a low-tech alternative to pesticide, to see how it's going to work out. These farmers are going to go back to older practices where they'll cultivate an environment where natural pest predators can live. Basically, they're going to grow flowers amongst their other crops, creating a home for creatures like parasitic wasps, who eat aphids in their larval state.
It has reportedly been a common practice to grow flowers around the perimeter of farmland acres, as it encourages biodiversity, but now these agriculturalists are planning to experiment with strips of flowers within their crops so that it creates a highway of sorts for bugs to travel farther and cover more ground for pest control. It's a particularly popular experiment in the U.K., where researchers Ben Woodcock and Richard Pywell are studying the new tactic at the Center for Ecology and Hydrology.
They added that even though planting flowers to encourage bugs may seem obvious, a certain amount of precision is needed to encourage the right kind in the right amounts, and a lot more modern techniques are needed for it. “The wide-scale adoption of precision agricultural systems, particularly GPS mapping and precision application technologies, means that it should now possible to implement and protect these in-field habitats,” wrote they to Fast Company in an email.
“This would have been very challenging a few years ago. While this is unlikely to eliminate the need to apply pesticide, it may mean that pests populations are maintained below levels at which they cause damage to crops for longer periods, thus reducing the number of pesticide sprays applied.” The flowers used plays a pivotal role because scientists struggle with the widespread and terrifying phenomenon of beehive death.
There are many plausible reasons to explain the death of bee colonies in huge numbers all over the world, but many think that overuse of pesticides is a contributing factor. Several other countries have been experimenting with this method too, like Switzerland. The ultimate goal is to find a mix of plants that help increase yield, which would support the care required to nurture the plants. So, even if planting flowers is just another method if it reduces the number of pesticides, then why not adopt it? It's safer, and also prettier to look at!