Birds may help control pest outbreaks on organic farms

birdA recent study published in the scientific journal Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment and summarized by The Organic Center has demonstrated that bird populations provide major benefits to farmers by helping to control pest outbreaks on farms. In this study, researchers quantified the direct role that birds play by using controlled releases of pest caterpillars. Caterpillars were affixed to plants throughout fields and cameras were used to record predation by birds. Results from the predator release experiment showed that after only seven hours, birds removed an average of 24% of caterpillar pests, with removal at some sites reaching as high as 80%.


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