Their Role In Agriculture
Some insects may be very destructive to crops, others are beneficial, while the majority of insects are of no importance to man or agriculture. The various forms of pests such as the chinch bug, potato beetles, and others do an enormous amount of damage each year. They destroy hundreds of millions of dollars worth of crops annually in the United States alone. They devour enough to pay for the entire cost of running the school system of our country and nearly enough to meet all the expenses of our government. In view of these facts it is the duty of each and every farmer, young or old, to acquaint himself with these destructive pests and prepare himself for combating them. With a knowledge of the methods of controlling these pests much of this enormous loss can be prevented.
While some insects are extremely injurious, others are very helpful. The products of the honey bee in the United States alone amount to several million dollars a year, to say nothing of its value to the farmer in pollinating fruits. The annual output of silk, all of which is spun by the silkworm, is worth millions of dollars. Many other forms are of value to man by producing material of commercial value such as lac, shellack, dyes, medicines, etc. Of all the beneficial insects those which are of greatest value to man are the parasites and similar forms which help to keep in check many of the severest pests of the farm. Insects are not all bad fellows by any means. One must acquaint himself with those which are good and those which are bad before he can hope to deal with them intelligently.
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