Just adding pollinators could boost small-farm yields | Science News

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Just adding pollinators could boost small-farm yields

Analysis shows bees, bugs could significantly increase crop production in poor-performing farms

2:13pm, January 21, 2016
Phacelia flowers

BE ATTRACTIVE A three-continent study finds that attracting more pollinators (by such techniques as planting the Phacelia flowers shown here) could help boost sagging yields on small farms.

Just sending more pollinators into action on small farms around the world could significantly boost crop yields, says a massive new study.

Coaxing more bees, beetles and other pollinators to buzz around small fields could on average boost crop yields enough to close the gap between the worst and the best of these farms by almost a quarter, says agroecologist Lucas Alejandro Garibaldi of the National University of Río Negro and Argentina’s CONICET research network.

This yield gap has excited much interest from people studying the future of the world’s food supply at a time when the explosive growth of the human population needs more, more and even more. Some researchers have estimated that food-growers will need to double agricultural production by 2050 to keep up with the need. “Closing the yield gaps is a key part of the solution, particularly in areas with there’s a poverty

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