Well, being a wildflower aficionado, I love this idea – beauty and agriculture producing enough food for the growing, global population. I’ve written about the problems with mono-cultures (large tracts of banana and coffee crops in Latin America succumbing to diseases) and increasing biodiversity is the clue to healthy crops and environment.
The information below is from Conservation Magazine at the University of Washington:
“Many studies have shown that planting strips of wildflowers amidst croplands can increase species of insects and birds that act as an all-natural pest control, reducing or eliminating the need for pesticides.” In Switzerland many “farms that have implemented wildflower strips as part of a government subsidy program that aims to boost biodiversity on farm lands.”
In a study published recently in the journal Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment they found that the presence of nearby species-rich wildflower strips increased winter wheat production by 10 percent as compared to control fields. The paper did not take into account any losses in yields that farmers would incur if they set aside arable lands for wildflower strips (however my guess is that the balance of nature would at least balance out the yield as 10% is a big effect).
What do you think… win win? (Like this post? Share it on your favorite social networking site.)
The full article can be found here: