3. The farmers weapons against bugs.

The farmers weapons against bugs?

Todays learning: (WALT)


Year 5

  • explain the differences in the life cycles of a mammal, an amphibian, an insect and a bird
  • describe the life process of reproduction in some plants and animals
  • Understand how this knowledge can help us tackle and control bugs

Year 6

  • recognise that living things produce offspring of the same kind, but normally offspring vary and are not identical to their parents

Design Technology

  • understand seasonality, and know where and how a variety of ingredients are grown, reared, caught and processed

Lesson Activities

  • Watch 'The farmers weapons against bugs' video
  • This explains the ways in which farmers can stop the different bugs attacking or at least having such a big impact on their crops and livestock.


  • Do quiz for first section answers…

Video Dialogue

  • The farmer’s first weapon against bugs is prevention.
  • Just like you washing your hands before you eat or having vaccinations, farmers will do what they can to reduce the risk of bugs attacking their crops by using a crop rotation.
  • This means he will rotate or change the crops he grows in in a field each year.
  • He will aim to grow different types of crops each year or every few years.
  • Crops like cereals, potatoes, oilseed rape and peas are not attacked by the same pests and disease so by rotating their crops farmers avoid the build-up of pest and disease in the soil and hedges around the field.
  • Which would then attack the crops in the fields.
  • Another way to prevent pest like slugs is by rolling fields after crops have been planted.
  • Like here with this oilseed rape seedbed.
  • This consolidates the ground and makes it more difficult for slugs to attack the crop.
  • These prevention steps will not always be enough and farmers will still have to ‘attack’ these bugs to control them.
  • These attacks might involve spraying chemicals on their crops to keep the leaves healthy so they can continue to produce food by photosynthesis.
  • Scaring or shooting pests like pigeons or rabbits.
  • These control measures are all are all done after careful consideration and testing to make sure they are safe for consumers and the environment and actually do “what it says on the tin” and stops or kills the bugs
  • and are cost effective which means they save more money than they cost.
  • These tests involve scientific trails – similar to the fair test experiments you do in school.
  • One of these is very much in the news at the moment ‘Badger culling’
  • As we saw Bovine TB is a nasty disease in cattle which it would be best if we could remove from all the cows in the UK.
  • The government are trying to do this by testing farmers’ cows for TB
  • Any cows found with TB are removed or culled (killed) from the farmers herd so that no more cows become infected.
  • The farmer is not allowed move any of the other cows off his farm until further tests show all his cows are TB free.
  • The farmer gets paid for any cows that are culled but TB still causes the farmer problems and costs him and the government lots of money.
  • The Government is taking this action so that eventually all the cows in our country are TB free
  • This will be better for the cows and our long term health
  • But doing this means that a lot of cows have to be slaughtered each year and it also costs a lot of money to do this.
  • It is especially frustrating when some farmers’ herds which have had infected cows culled and declared TB free become re-infected.
  • This is because Bovine TB can be present in other animals such as badgers, deer, goats, pigs, dogs and cats.
  • Some of these animals are thought to re-infect farmers’ cattle.
  • Badgers are thought to be a special problem.
  • So government scientists want to do an experiment to see if culling badgers in some areas will reduce the reinfection of cattle with TB
  • Not everyone agrees with farmers and the government using these control measures on ‘bugs’ which attack the crops and animals we rely on for food
  • Some people think we should not spray chemicals on crops
  • Shoot pests like pigeons and rabbits
  • Or carry out a cull of badgers
  • What do you think?


  • Video: Farmers weapons against bugs
  • Farmers V Bugs Pupil Workbook

Outcomes: (WILF)

  • Explain how animal life cycles contribute to food production
  • Explain how plant life cycles contribute to food production.
  • Understand how this knowledge can help us tackle and control bugs

Teaching notes:


Last modified: Monday, 7 April 2014, 1:15 PM