Some beneficial arthropods found on farms in Delta are listed below; click the links to learn more.
Photo: Spider on a clover plant in a Grassland Set-aside (David Bradbeer)
Arthropods are an extremely diverse phylum of animals, united by their hard exoskeleton, jointed limbs, and segmented bodies. Those that inhabit agricultural land include flies, spiders, beetles, wood bugs, butterflies, and bees, to name a few. There is no doubt that some can be a nuisance, such as stinging mosquitoes, or a serious agricultural pest, such as potato flea beetle or aphids. But arthropods are also responsible for a suite of activities that are beneficial to humans: pollinating crops, producing honey, eating or parasitizing insect pests, decomposing waste, and being food for a variety of birds, fish, and mammals. Farmland abounds with beneficial arthropods. Preliminary inventories show that pollinators, such as bumblebees, are present in Grassland Set-asides and Hedgerows, and the presence of clover over large areas of Grassland Set-asides likely benefits pollinators.