insects

Jsmith2211

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Somerset
I've seen a lot of people recently complaining about the lack of insects due to intensive farming in recent years. However, every night im out with the LEDs on i cant get out of the cab without hundreds of the damned things buzzing into my face and inevitably into my cab. I can provide a picture of them all swarming around the lights if anybody doubts this. How does this compare to other people's experiences with insects at night? I expect the reason we have so many round here is that it is a largely mixed system, with plenty of grassland and woodland around, which is very different to other parts of the country.
 

Exfarmer

Member
Location
Bury St Edmunds
I've seen a lot of people recently complaining about the lack of insects due to intensive farming in recent years. However, every night im out with the LEDs on i cant get out of the cab without hundreds of the damned things buzzing into my face and inevitably into my cab. I can provide a picture of them all swarming around the lights if anybody doubts this. How does this compare to other people's experiences with insects at night? I expect the reason we have so many round here is that it is a largely mixed system, with plenty of grassland and woodland around, which is very different to other parts of the country.
I am convinced the ending of mixed farming has had a drastic effect on insect and bird populations in the East. Particularly grazing meadows etc
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
I've seen a lot of people recently complaining about the lack of insects due to intensive farming in recent years. However, every night im out with the LEDs on i cant get out of the cab without hundreds of the damned things buzzing into my face and inevitably into my cab. I can provide a picture of them all swarming around the lights if anybody doubts this. How does this compare to other people's experiences with insects at night? I expect the reason we have so many round here is that it is a largely mixed system, with plenty of grassland and woodland around, which is very different to other parts of the country.

Exactly the same here. Mixed farming area with lots of trees, a couple of lakes, and hedges round small fields.
 

Widgetone

Member
I am convinced the ending of mixed farming has had a drastic effect on insect and bird populations in the East. Particularly grazing meadows etc
Yep, sorry to say the arable East does not lend itself much to a great insect and bird population ( excluding cluster flies and buzzards ffs ).
Had a flier only last night from the local wildlife trust talking about re wilding in Suffolk...
 

Exfarmer

Member
Location
Bury St Edmunds
Yep, sorry to say the arable East does not lend itself much to a great insect and bird population ( excluding cluster flies and buzzards ffs ).
Had a flier only last night from the local wildlife trust talking about re wilding in Suffolk...
I suspect that flyer is the same one I had and is the usual poison chucked out by these people actually looking for subscriptions
 

Jim t

Member
Location
Shropshire
Maybe a bit off topic but does anyone use aphid traps to see if aphids are about or do people just spray?
im keen to put traps out but can’t find any good ones that can still work when it’s wet
 

Bogweevil

Member
Here you go, no need to thank me. https://www.pnas.org/content/118/2/e2023989118

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1634320440998.png
 
Recently had an invasion of Ladybirds and Flies trying to find somewhere to hibernate.

Most fruits have gone. Just some crab apples around the spinny at the moment - fudging nothing eats those, the dog will tackle cooking apples but turns his nose at that fudge. Planted by the environmentalists for wildlife - never seen anything eat the em.

Hopefully this year I'll be grubbing them out and replace with fruit trees that are edible.
 
Better day a couple of days back , and I opened the landing window for a bit of fresh air . I now have four quite big clusters of hibernating ladybirds on the inside window frame corners . I don't mind them being there , in fact I'm quite pleased and I haven't got an O.H. to complain . I just hope they don't think Winter is over when the central heating comes on , is there anything I can do to help them survive the Winter , or shall I just leave them to their own devices ?
 

cb387

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Glos
I’m sure there are noticeably less insects about now. 30 years ago if you opened the cab door at night with the lights on for too long you soon had what seemed like hundreds of the buggers whizzing round in the cab with you. Not the case these days
 
To be contrary.
And being in the arable "waste land" of the East.
This was last night just as I wanted to get out the cab as I'd finished ploughing. The picture doesn't do it justice for the amount that were buzzing about. As soon as I opened the door they swarmed in. (The windscreen needs a clean🙈)
20211014_215242.jpg
 

Flatlander

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lorette Manitoba
Better day a couple of days back , and I opened the landing window for a bit of fresh air . I now have four quite big clusters of hibernating ladybirds on the inside window frame corners . I don't mind them being there , in fact I'm quite pleased and I haven't got an O.H. to complain . I just hope they don't think Winter is over when the central heating comes on , is there anything I can do to help them survive the Winter , or shall I just leave them to their own devices ?
Couple of years back we had an invasion of lady bugs. Or so we thought. Turns out they were some Asian look alike that bite. Kids got bitten and reacted mildly to the bite. Not as bad since but still get some every year.
 

thorpe

Member
I’m sure there are noticeably less insects about now. 30 years ago if you opened the cab door at night with the lights on for too long you soon had what seemed like hundreds of the buggers whizzing round in the cab with you. Not the case these days
it is here!
 

Jonp

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Gwent
Never seen so many dragonflies zipping around, bats too...they eat insects. Swallows were around in large numbers too, all eating insects.
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Never seen so many dragonflies zipping around, bats too...they eat insects. Swallows were around in large numbers too, all eating insects.

We have an old bakehouse behind the farmhouse, which is leased to a wildlife trust as a bat roost (apparently one of only two in Wales for this species).
Every year they come out over a few nights and count the numbers using the roost, to gauge what the population is doing. Numbers dipped drastically in 2012 and 13, a cold, wet summer followed by a long cold winter, which reduced insect numbers. Since then, numbers have climbed well ever since, which they think is directly down to them having plentiful food (they eat insects).

Incidentally, we moved here in 2012 and farm far more intensively than the previous tenant, although always with one eye on nature, like most farmers. I have gapped up a few hedges to reconstruct feeding corridors for those bats (who apparently wont cross a gap of more than 5m), but nothing else specific for insects or bats really, just carried on farming ‘normally’.
 

CHAP Webinar - Innovative tools to overcome the challenges of Regen Ag

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Applying principles of regen ag can incur a range of on-farm challenges. Learn how innovative tools & machinery can help with these hurdles.

This event will be held online from 1pm to 2pm on Thursday 2nd December 2021 so please block it out in your diary.

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