Effects of soil management on cereal pests and their natural enemies

  • Published source details Kendall D.A., Chinn N.E., Glen D.M., Wiltshire C.W., Winstone L. & Tidboald C. (1995) Effects of soil management on cereal pests and their natural enemies. Pages 83-102 in: D.M. Glen, M.P. Greaves & H.H. Anderson (eds.) Ecology and Integrated Farming Systems. John Wiley and Sons Ltd., Bristol.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Reduce tillage

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Reduce tillage

    A replicated, controlled, randomized study of cultivation treatments from 1989 to 1992 on an arable farm 3 km from Long Ashton Research Station, England (Kendall et al. 1995) found more money spiders (Linyphiidae) and slugs (Gastropoda) on arable soil after direct-drilling than after ploughing. Rove beetle (Staphylinidae) and ground beetle (Carabidae) numbers were not consistently different between treatments. In one field in autumn and winter, money spider numbers tended to be higher following direct-drilling (1-9/trap/week) than non-inversion (1-4) or ploughing (1-4), whereas in summer, numbers were higher on cultivated (16-25/trap/week) compared to direct-drilled plots (9-16). In the second field studied, no difference between treatments was found. Eight beetle (Coleoptera) groups tended to be more prevalent on ploughed plots (smaller beetles), 11 on Dutzi cultivated and/or direct-drilled plots (larger beetles); nine beetle groups showed no difference between treatments. Slug numbers tended to be higher on direct-drilled (4-9/sample) and non-inversion tillage plots (1-16) than ploughed plots (1-4). Plots of 30 or 50 x 12 m of each treatment were randomized in three or five replicated blocks in two winter cereal fields (3-4 ha). Half of each plot received a selective pesticide for aphids (Aphidoidea) in 1990-1991. Predators were sampled using two pitfall traps/plot for seven days each month from 1989 to 1992. Slugs were monitored by flooding a soil sample from each plot at one to six month intervals. Results for other pest species, crop damage and the effects of incorporating straw are not included here.


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