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Daniel Halsey 's Profile
Daniel Halsey
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Joined:
02/02/2011
Last Updated:
02/02/2011
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Global, Traveler, United States
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Male
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www.uniteddesigners.org





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Beneficial Habitat: Beetle Banks

Posted by Daniel Halsey almost 7 years ago

Beetle banks create beneficial habitat for biological control agents important to pest management. Since the effect of predation from the bank is passive and seasonally variable it is a strategy best used as part of an overall system of pest management.

Large expanses and widening fields for crop production have substantially limited the access of beneficial insects to field crop prey. The ecological services provided by naturally occurring pest predators is increasingly impeded spatially as the fields grow. The field edges, being the over-wintering and refuge for beneficial insects, are the primary source of conservation pest management in many crops. As much as 35% of pest management and crop protection comes from naturally occurring biological controls. Increasing the natural capital needed to enhance the supportive habitat is a low investment and a high return strategy for growers. 

This technique is also important in the ecological design of food production areas on homestead or in a production orchard. Many times we think of beneficial habitat for the use of pollinators and flying insects. We need to remember that there is a great diversity of beneficial insects that need habitat. Beetles play an important role in controlling past populations in our growing spaces.

Beetle Banks, suggested by Southerton (1984) are grassy ridges within crop fields, which by their position, decrease the travel distance of flying or crawling beneficial insects. Field edges of rough Tussock grass covered banks (Luff 1966) support a high density population of Caribidae ( Large Ground Beetles) and Staphylinidae (Smaller Rove Beetles) (Thomas 1991).

Reducing the distance from edge to edge increased the frequency and duration of insects in the center areas of the fields. Especially in Spring, as the insects migrate further into the field following aphid and other pest populations. Although Collins, et al (2002) refers to it as decreasing field size, I believe the banks are an integral part of the field itself and a permanent fixture within the cropping system. The control of cereal aphids has been the motivation for many of the studies to be cited. Polyphagous arthropods are important players in the natural biocontrol of wheat pests. Conservation Biocontrols are the  " ..techniques to encourage and conserve populations of naturally occurring (pest) predators..." (Collins et al, 2003).
According to Collins et al. (2003), the most needed Integrated Crop Management (ICM) component is natural biocontrol agents (BCA).  The most important BCAs in Cereal aphid control are polyphagous (predators of multiple prey, not specific) arthropods. Since expanded agricultural intensification has removed or degraded field boundary areas, added habitat spaces are needed for increased polyphagous predator benefit.

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Grant Van der Merwe
Grant Van der Merwe : Thanks for post
Posted almost 7 years ago

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Consultant Aid worker PRI PDC Teacher I'm male, single, and looking for a permaculture partner
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Cold Climate PDC
Type: Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course
Verifying teacher: Paula Westmoreland
Other Teachers: Guy Trombley, Bruce Blair
Location: Minnesota
Date: Jan 2007
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Teaching Permaculture Creativiely
Type: Teacher Training
Verifying teacher: Dave Jacke
Other Teachers: Ethan Roland
Location: Sandstone, Minnesota
Date: Apr 2010
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Permaculture Teacher Training
Type: Teacher Training
Verifying teacher: Bill Wilson
Other Teachers: Wayne Weiseman
Location: Stelle, IL
Date: Aug 2011
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The Soil Resource, Soil Science
Type: Soil Biology/Compost
Teacher: Dr. Terry Cooper
Location: University of Minnesota
Date: Aug 2007
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Forest Ecology
Type: Other
Teacher: Rebecca Montgomery
Location: University of Minnesota
Date: Jan 2007
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Orcard Swale Catchment Workshop
Type: Earthworks
Verifying teacher: Geoff Lawton
Other Teachers: Guy Trombley, Paula Westmoreland
Location: Prior Lake, MN, USA
Date: Jun 2006
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Edible Forest Gardens Short Workshop
Type: Other
Teacher: Dave Jacke
Location: PRI, Cold Climate, University of Minnesota
Date: Feb 2007
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Master of Professional Studies in Horticulture
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Teacher: Dr. Tom Michaels
Location: University of Minnesota
Date: Oct 2010
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Teacher: Nick Jordan
Location: University of Minnesota, USA
Date: Sep 2008
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Grey Water Systems with Brad Lancaster
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Verifying teacher: Brad Lancaster
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Location: Kinstone Acedemy of Applied Permaculture
Date: Jan 2014
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Type: Earthworks
Teacher: Mark Shepard
Location: Harmony Park, MN
Date: Sep 2014
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Daniel Halsey has permaculture experience in:
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Cool Temperate
Warm Temperate
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Sub tropical
Wet/Dry Tropical
Wet Tropical
Dry Tropical
Arid
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