Intercropping is a means of accomplishing biological
control due to olfactory, sight disruption, biodiversity, etc.
However, intercrops are done within the context of the
cultural component of IPM.
In other words, to reduce pesticide use, a good idea is to
implement a wide range of cultural practices that support natural
biological control. These include crop rotations, interseeding,
strip intercropping, companion planting, etc.
Farmscaping is a term used to describe a farm designed to
increase biological control through....intercropping,
hedgerows, cover crops, insectary plants, etc.
ATTRA (800-346-9140) has a resource packaged titled "Farmscaping."
It is part of a new series of publications called Current Topics
in Sustainable Agriculture. It contains descriptions and ideas
for farmscaping in commercial agriculture and lists literature
resources for further reading and seed suppliers of insectary plants.
Bob Bugg at UC-SAREP, Sharad Phatak at Univ. of Georgia, and
pecan entomologists and horticulturists in Oklahoma, Texas, and
Georgia, have done a great deal of research into the areas of
farmscaping, insectary plants, and cover crops for beneficial
insect habitat management.
Rincon-Vitova, the insectary company in Oak View, California, promotes
Integrated Plant Protection Management, or IPPM in which a
5-point program is based on:
1. Colonize beneficial organisms
2. Cover crop refuges
4. Spray (with 'soft' pesticides) only as needed
5. Cultural practices (i.e., farmscaping)
NaturFarm in Lompoc, California, implemented pest control
habitat strips by planting alfalfa, red clover, and hairy vetch.
These were further populated by native wildflowers and grasses.
The strips provide food, shelter, and water for beneficial insects which
in turn provide biological control of pests on adjacent organic vegetable
fields. Everett Dietrick, retired biocontrol pioneer, helped design the
Other ATTRA Information Packages that address this broad topic:
Integrated Pest Management
Sustainable Vegetable Production
Sustainable Pecan Production