In the Field - Targeted implementation of Multifunctional Landscapes
Our approach aims to identify and solve multifunctional landscape issues to improve resource efficiency in a practical manner. Building on the proven success of Operation Pollinator in enhancing biodiversity, the concept of multifunctional field margins further integrates the protection of natural resources and the enhancement of ecosystem services. Farmers are provided with crop specific agronomic protocols to improve environmental performance and maintain farm profitability.
Pollen and nectar rich field margins sown alongside oilseed rape crops encourage bees and other pollinators to visit crops in flower. Enhanced pollination can lead to an increase both yield and crop quality.
Operation Pollinator margins also provide a vital season long food resources in the landscape before and after flowering of the crop. This extra and varied supply of food resources helps to ensure that pollinators have sufficient pollen and nectar in the landscape to complete their life cycles for the next generation.
Well managed field margins not only increase farmland biodiversity, but also help protect water courses which run beside fields. These field margins, sown between the corn (maize) crop and water course, act as a natural barrier against soil erosion.
The permanent field margin intercepts small particles of soil moving in surface water after rain and stops it getting into the watercourse. This helps to keep the water clean and free from soil ingress that could be detrimental to water quality.
Well established wild flower field margins grown next to intensively farmed wheat crops demonstrates that our farmers and growers have the ability to deliver both safe and secure food production, whilst delivering habitat, havens and food sources for bees, pollinators and other farmland wildlife in the same field.
Many beneficial insects are able to thrive in managed floristically-enhanced field margins, enabling then to carry out natural pest control within the crop.
This valuable additional role to crop production can be included in an integrated solution for pest control in many crops.
Apples and pears
Establishment of specially designed wild flower margins around the boundaries of orchards provide season long pollen and nectar for pollinating insects which visit the crop during flowering.
Both crop yield and fruit quality has been shown to be significantly improved from the pollination services of both natural pollinating bees and managed honey bees.
Specifically designed grass and flower habitats can help to stabilise terraces and reduce soil loss from vineyards. They have been successfully established as either inter row strips with a low growing sward, or as field boundaries.
Syngenta Operation Pollinator research into pollinator visitation of the melon crop is helping growers improve crop production of open field melon crops across Europe.
Operation Pollinator mixture research is helping formulate habitats suitable to help growers protect and retain soil within the olive grove. Furthermore, it is providing pollen and nectar habitat to encourage beneficial insects, which can form a vital element of an integrated crop program against key pests of olives.