Book helps farmers work with nature to manage insects

BELTSVILLE, Md.—Nationwide, farmers are in need of insect pest management strategies that are effective, affordable and environmentally sound. To help meet that need, the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) announces the release of Manage Insects on Your Farm: A Guide to Ecological Strategies, a primer designed to help farmers improve their farms’ natural defenses against insect pests.

While every farming system is unique, the principles of ecological pest management apply universally. Manage Insects on Your Farm outlines the principles of ecologically-based pest management and illustrates the strategies used by farmers around the world to address insect problems by:

Increasing on-farm diversity above and below ground;

Encouraging beneficial insects to attack their worst pests;

Enhancing plants’ natural defenses against pests; and

Managing soil to minimize crop pests.

“Well written and illustrated, Manage Insects on Your Farm provides both a framework for understanding ecologically-based pest management as well as many of the useful details to help minimize insect pest problems,” said Fred Magdoff, University of Vermont soil scientist and Northeast regional coordinator of USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program.

Examples of successful pest management strategies featured throughout the book demonstrate real life examples of how to address insect problems and develop a more complex and diverse on-farm ecosystem. Readers will learn how to minimize insect damage with wise soil management and identify beneficial insects to put these “good bugs” to work.

Download a complete copy of Manage Insects on Your Farm at for free. To order print copies ($15.95 plus $5.95 shipping and handling), visit, call 301/374-9696 or send check or money order to Sustainable Agriculture Publications, P.O. Box 753, Waldorf, MD. 20604-0753. (Please specify title requested when ordering by mail.) Discounts are available for orders of 10 or more. Allow three to four weeks for delivery. Call 301/374-9696 for more information about bulk, rush or international shipments.

From the Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2005, issue

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