Buckwheat floral strips maintain crop yields and support natural enemies

March 4th, 2024

You should read this paper because…

The planting of floral strips have been suggested to support beneficial arthropods on farms to increase biological pest control. A new member of our team, Jessa Thurman in collaboration with Professor Mike Furlong at UQ, tested this out during her PhD on an organic farm. She measured crop yields, pest control costs, and arthropod communities across crop and non-crop habitats, including buckwheat floral strips and semi-natural edge habitats.

Surprisingly, there were not significant differences in the diversity of arthropod natural enemies between plots with and without floral strips. Instead, the community of natural enemies found within floral strips was similar to that of the crop, suggesting that floral strips support natural enemies found within crops, which are most likely those that contribute to pest control.

A strip of flowering buckwheat can be a very useful resource for beneficial invertebrates


Some of the learnings from her work will be useful in the newly commenced, GRDC supported Canola Allies project. 

To read the full paper go to:

Thurman JH, Furlong MJ (2024) Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) floral strips support natural enemies and maintain yields in organic green bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) crops. Biological Control 105476. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocontrol.2024.105476