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Natural Enemies and Cover Crop Mixtures

Natural enemies - insects that feed on pest insects - rely on nectar, pollen, and prey provided by flowering cover crops. Natural enemies also respond to different types of cover crops differently, suggesting that there might be a "right kind of diversity." We surveyed the natural enemy community in several of the mixtures that contain flowering species in the Cover Crop Cocktails experiment. These mixtures include the Canola, Red Clover, Rye, 4 Species, and 6 Species cover crop treatments. Important natural enemies such as spiders, lady beetles, and parasitic wasps exhibited a preference toward the red clover monoculture treatments.
Natural Enemies and Cover Crop Mixtures
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