Efforts to help the Monarch butterfly continue to gain momentum as farmers, agricultural stakeholders, land owners and other citizens in the Monarch Flyway work toward creating significant acreage of monarch habitat in the United States.
The National Corn Growers Association supports these efforts and continues to encourage members to take a close look at their farms to find ways to join in this worthwhile effort. This is a great time of year to consider special plantings that can give our butterfly brethren a helping hand.
Much of the flyway is right in the heart of corn production country so farmers can play a key role. Monarch butterflies face many challenges contributing to a population decline such as loss of breeding and feeding habitat.
There are a lot of great groups at the local, state and national level who can assist in your efforts to help the Monarch. For instance, Farmers for Monarchs continues to reach out to directly to farmers to assist in education.
Farmers for Monarchs is a united effort by farmers, ranchers, landowners and the agriculture industry to encourage and enable the expansion and establishment of pollinator/conservation habitat, including milkweed, along the monarch butterfly seasonal migration route.
What can you do?
Establish a diverse habitat that has a mixture of native wildflowers, milkweed and other beneficial plants.
Plant pollinator habitats in sites such as field borders, pivot corners, conservation lands, ditches, buffers and other low productive land.
Work with local partners also interested in conserving pollinators. There are several financial and technical assistance programs to help you conserve pollinators.
CommonGround is a group of farmers connecting with consumers through conversations about science and research and personal stories about food and misinformation surrounding farming. Supported by the NCGA and state corn organizations.
The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) is a farmer-led initiative that fosters transformation in agriculture through improved soil health. Administered by NCGA the partnership has more than 220 working farms enrolled in 16 states. SHP’s mission is to utilize science and data to partner with farmers who are adopting conservation agricultural practices that improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the farm.
The Corn Utilization and Technology Conference (CUTC) is a biennial event happening this June. Learn more.