Banking on Beetles in Oregon

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional + Producer
Funds awarded in 2006: $19,068.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Region: Western
State: Oregon
Principal Investigator:
Gwendolyn Ellen
Agricultural Biodiversity Consulting

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: grass (misc. annual), grass (misc. perennial), grass (turfgrass, sod), sorghum sudangrass


  • Animal Production: parasite control
  • Education and Training: display, extension, farmer to farmer, focus group, mentoring, networking, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
  • Pest Management: biological control, field monitoring/scouting, trap crops
  • Production Systems: permaculture

    Proposal abstract:

    Many beetle and spider species prey on crop pests, limiting the damage these pests inflict. This project will use beetle banks – undisturbed constructed grassy mounds that provide essential overwintering habitat for predatory beetles and spiders – to cultivate these pest combatants. A critical design element of a beetle bank is establishing mat-forming grasses in a uniform sward or bank with minimal invasion by other grasses or broad-leaved weeds. This project will help farmers in the Willamette Valley develop experimental beetle banks of their own design. The banks will serve as the focus for evaluation, learning and feedback among growers using a Beetle Bank Club and community participation that employs farmer field schools, farm walks and direct farmer-to-farmer meetings. Under this structure, growers will be able to exchange information on what does and doesn’t work among themselves on and off the farm and at local and regional meetings. Information will also be shared through local, regional and professional publications.

    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.