Episode #79: Joe Lewis
Play • 1 hr 34 min

Joe Lewis is an internationally renowned scientist recognized for his work in entomology and agricultural studies. His discoveries in the behavioral and chemical interactions of parasitoids, insect herbivores, and plants have played a critical role in our understanding of ecological growing. He is also the author of A New Farm Language: How a Sharecropper's Son Discovered a World of Talking Plants, Smart Insects, and Natural Solutions.

Listen as Joe and John discuss:

  • Joe’s introduction to agriculture growing up on a Mississippi cotton farm
  • The discovery of plants utilizing chemical compounds to alert parasitic wasps to the presence of caterpillars.
  •  The first demonstration of associative learning in parasitic wasps.
  • Sensitivity of signals between plants and parasitic wasps, including how they differentiate from food and host.
  • Environmental impacts that have led to unbalanced increases in insect pressures.
  • The value of cover cropping to provide a nectar source for insects during production season.
  • Changing the paradigm from “how to kill this pest” to “why is this pest a pest?”

A New Farm Language by Joe Lewis: https://bookstore.acresusa.com/products/a-new-farm-language

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