Conserving the Three P’s: Habitat Conservation Practices for Beneficial Predators, Parasites, and Pollinators

Project Overview

EW07-018
Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2007: $51,165.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2010
Region: Western
State: Oregon
Principal Investigator:
Mace Vaughan
The Xerces Society

Annual Reports

Commodities

  • Agronomic: canola, rapeseed, sunflower, grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Fruits: melons, berries (cranberries), cherries, peaches, pears, plums, berries (strawberries)
  • Vegetables: cucurbits, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes
  • Additional Plants: native plants

Practices

  • Animal Production: feed/forage
  • Crop Production: conservation tillage
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, technical assistance
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity, hedges - grass, grass waterways, habitat enhancement, riparian buffers, wildlife, hedges - woody
  • Pest Management: cultural control, economic threshold, field monitoring/scouting, integrated pest management, row covers (for pests), trap crops
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, holistic management
  • Sustainable Communities: sustainability measures

    Abstract:

    The project partners provided four workshops per year, for two years, in Oregon for staff from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Farm Services Administration, and Oregon State University Extension Service, as well as grower leaders. These workshops addressed how to enhance conservation buffers and other on-farm habitats to increase populations of beneficial insects, specifically populations of native bees and populations of the predators and parasites of crop pests. In concert with these workshops, we provided one-on-one technical assistance to agricultural professionals to address project-specific needs.

    Project objectives:

    1. Workshops Phase 1 (2008) – Overall habitat needs and diagnostics: We will conduct four workshops in which we provide participants with an overview of the habitat requirements and conservation of these beneficial insects. Each workshop will be all-day and will include two 1-hour presentations (one on pollinator conservation and one on predators and parasites of crop pests) and a 2-hour field trip to a nearby farm to apply lessons learned in the presentations to a real habitat.

    2. Workshops Phase 2 (2009) – Management for beneficial insects in the field: In year 2 of this project, we will organize four all-day workshops which will go into greater detail on site-specific needs for providing habitat for beneficial insects. For this workshop, we will prepare specifications for the implementation of beneficial insectaries, appropriate for each location, and work with participants to develop conservation plans for projects and growers they bring to the workshop.

    3. On-going technical support: As a follow up to these workshops, we will provide direct technical assistance to field staff of the NRCS, SWCD, and other farm agencies. This assistance will include developing locally appropriate plant lists, tailored to provide the greatest benefit to beneficial insects. We will also conduct site visits at specific farms to determine the opportunities for providing other habitat features (e.g. nest sites, pesticide refugia, overwintering habitat, etc.) for beneficial insects.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.