Farmscaping: An ecological approach to insect pest management in agroecosystem
Anil Meena, Monika Meena, Rakesh Kumar and Braj Mohan Meena
The interest to shift pest management strategies from the intensive use of agrochemicals to sustainable and eco-friendly practices has increased in recent years. Agricultural intensification has led to a dramatic decline in farmland biodiversity. This biodiversity is directly linked to the maintenance of some ecosystem services such as pollination and pest control. An alternative to conventional farming systems is the implementation of diversification practices that increase diversity in- and around- the field to increase the incidence of natural enemies, to reduce pest pressure and to enhance crop production. Farmscaping is an ecological approach to pest management that usually involves planting hedgerows, insectary or flowering plants to attract and support populations of beneficial organisms. Farmscaping plants are planted to attract and provide resources (viz. shelter, reproductive habitat and alternative or supplemental food sources) to beneficial insects that may not otherwise be available in a monoculture crop field. The concept of farmscaping is partly based on the knowledge that natural enemies require supplemental food sources to achieve maximum fitness and thereby to provide better pest control of pest species in agro-ecosystem.