Insects in the Farm Ecosystem

There are thousands of insects living on a farm. They can be both helpful and harmful to the farm and the farmer.

The honey bee is a helpful insect because it pollinates the farmer's crops while gathering its food. Pollination allows the plant to create its seeds, such as grains of wheat or kernels of corn. Many farmers keep beehives on their farms to ensure the pollination of their crops because there are very few honey bees left in the wild. Of course, farmers also keep bees to produce beeswax and honey! Spiders, ladybugs, wasps, dragonflies, and praying mantises are also helpful because they eat harmful insects

What insects do you like and are helpful to you?

Honey Bee photo
Honey bee pollinating an apple blossom.
Photo from Mann Lake, Ltd.
Corn Earworm photo
Corn earworm damaging a corn cob.
Photo from Clemson University Entomology Resources
The corn earworm is a harmful insect to the farmer's crop. Other insects such as corn rootworms, aphids, grasshoppers, cutworms, and spider mites can damage crops and reduce the farmer's yield. Insects may eat grains, roots or leaves and weaken plants. Insects can also land on livestock and bite them. Many farmers control the harmful insect populations with chemicals called insecticides. Some farmers plant crops that have insect-resistant genes.

How would damage to crops by insects affect a farm family?

Back to The Farm Ecosytem Nature

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