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Bats an economic benefit for farmers

4/24/2014

People often shun bats, but they're actually a huge benefit.

Especially for farmers, stopping insects form causing an estimated $23 billion in damages.

In northwest Kansas, they save farmers as much as $700 million every year.

That's because bats will eat 500 insects an hour as as many as 3,000 in a single night.

Kansas has only 16 species of bats, but they're worth as much as $74 an acre for harvested crops.

Not only to bats eat the insects but they also keep farmers from turning to expensive pesticides to control bugs.

In Ellis County alone, the savings from bats is believed to be about $11 million. In corn-intensive Thomas County, the value is closer to $30 million.

-- Mike Corn, HDN