Milwaukee Edition

Flower Power

Farms Test Low-Tech Pesticide Alternative

Potapov Alexander/Shutterstock.com

To make sure more beneficial bugs come to their crops to feed on pests, farmers are planting flowers in the middle of their fields. On a farm near the town of Buckingham, England, a crop of oilseed rape is planted amidst rows of wildflowers. It’s one of 14 sites in a study testing the wildflowers’ efficacy in attracting pest-eating bugs, and how well they would perform in replacing toxic pesticides.

The study also includes the use of borders of wildflowers around each field, a technique farmers in the area have used for the past two decades to promote general biodiversity, though not specifically for pest control.

Researchers Ben Woodcock and Richard Pywell, of the UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology, write, “The crop protection ‘toolbox’ is becoming smaller and more vulnerable, so now is a good time to rethink our future crop protection strategies to consider the use of alternative pest control measures alongside conventional pesticides.”

Pesticide use probably won’t be eliminated completely, they say. However, by attracting pest-eating bugs—along with other techniques like breeding plants to better resist pests, using technology to better diagnose and forecast pest behavior and application systems that can apply tiny amounts of pesticide more precisely—pesticide use could be dramatically reduced. Harsh chemicals can then serve as a last line of defense, rather than the first thing farmers reach for.


This article appears in the September 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Amare Mental Wellness Products Now Available in Milwaukee

Amare Global, a new company dedicated to creating a holistic mental wellness platform through products that support healthy gut-brain balance, now has a presence in the Milwaukee area.

Unity Center to Host StoweGood Concert

Unity Center in Milwaukee will host a concert by StoweGood, an award-winning duo from Nashville with a mission of “healing the world through music.”

Class for Nurturing Children During Family Transitions

The Center for Well-Being Lake Country welcomes Family Solutions of Wisconsin, which provides families in transition an alternative way to resolve co-parenting challenges. They will offer the class Honoring Your Children Through Family Transitions from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on November 13.

Simply Earth Opens Brick-and-Mortar Store

After four years of being an e-commerce business, Simply Earth, retailer of essential oils and accessories, will host the grand opening of its first physical location at Bayshore Town Center, in Glendale.

Ananda Healing Collective Embodies Collaboration, Community

After searching deeper and discovering how acupuncture enabled her body to heal from emotional childhood traumas, Aubrey Poglajen made the mind-body healing connection and embarked on a quest to heal others.

Wellness Team Grows at Natural Health Services

Jaide Stover, a certified clinical herbalist, yoga therapist and birth doula, is now accepting clients at Natural Health Services, on Milwaukee’s East Side.

Protecting the Immune System with Biological Dentistry

While modern dentistry can mend problems manifesting in the mouth, it doesn’t consider the mouth-body connection, even though there is substantial evidence showing an intimate relationship between dental health and overall health.

Letter from Publisher

Through awareness, education and action, we can all form healthy habits to protect our most vital, life-sustaining resource: water.

Eco-Packaging Progress Report

Creative new options include carry-out containers made of wood pulp, baked-goods wrapping paper infused with antibacterial spices, and cardboard made of mushroom roots.

Ease Repetitive Strain Injuries

Any movement we do repeatedly, such as typing at a screen or keyboard, can cause muscle strain and injury, but the right kind of exercises can lower our risk and repair damage.

Kristi Nelson on Why Gratefulness Brings Happiness

It’s not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy, counsels the head of the Network for Grateful Living.

Raw Fruit and Veggies Key to Mental Health

Eating raw fruit and vegetables correlated more with psychological well-being in young adults than eating canned, cooked or processed produce.

Add your comment: