Flowering insectary strips are an excellent strategy for supporting pollinators and other beneficial insects on farms.  Planted along field edges or directly within fields, these strips help ensure that flowering habitat is in close proximity to the crop fields where pollination and pest control services are most needed. 

Insectary strips can be temporary (annual) or permanent (perennial) and native or non-native, depending on the goals and situation at hand.  Temporary  insectary strips are typically composed of non-native flowers  and herbs that provide bloom very quickly and do not require much weed control prior to planting (since the planting will be cultivated at the end of the growing season).  Plants such as cosmos, dill, cilantro, basil, mustards, buckwheat, and dwarf sunflowers are examples of what may be suitable for an annual insectary strip.  

The mix we used at our farm include dill, cilantro, buckwheat, alyssum and sun hemp. They were chosen because of their performance in previous trials, as well as recommendation by Xerces Society. Dwarf sunflowers volunteered themselves.

Entomologist Dr. Rupesh Kariyat and his team of graduate students are monitoring the site to verify the efficacy of the insect strips, and to study the biodiversity of insect population in our area. #UTRGV #Entomology #insectarystrip