How Organic Farming Naturally Deters Pests Without Chemicals

5 June, 2014 at 07:01 | Posted in Body & Mind, Environmental issues, health, sustainable development | Leave a comment

Yellow and Orange peppersBy Ethan A. Huff, contributing writer to Natural News

The federal government has awarded a $750,000 grant to Washington State University WSU in Pullman to investigate the merits of organic farming in eradicating pests without the use of chemicals. Inspired by a survey conducted by researchers at nearby Oregon State University, the research project to be funded with the grant will look at how organic growing methods such as crop rotation, biodiversity and utilizing insects rather than killing them with pesticides can actually help solve the problems that plague conventional agriculture.

Heading the project is Bill Snyder, a professor of entomology at WSU, who with the help of his colleagues will analyze DNA collected from both the stomachs of predator bugs and from crops to see how the complex interactions between the two can provide sustainable solutions to the problem of crop pests. Entitled “CSI: Organic,” the three-year project will investigate the apparent successes of organic farming to identify the logistics behind how it is both beneficial and preferable to modern, chemical-based agricultural methods.

Specifically, Snyder hopes to learn more about the intricacies of predator bugs and how they affect soil health in order to figure out ways that, as an entire system, bugs, crops and soil can co-exist in harmony with one another to keep everything in a proper balance. Diversifying crops, for instance, rather than growing just one type of crop over a large acreage is one way that organic farming helps keep pests in check.

“We hope that we learn some really general lessons about how to make pests less of a problem,” says Prof. Snyder, as quoted by The Seattle Times, about the endeavor. “I’m glad when I see an aphid on something I get [at the store,] because at least I know it’s really organic.”

Read more: How Organic Farming Naturally Deters Pests Without Chemicals

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