Continuing to expand pollinator habitat was a central issue at the recent annual meeting of the Monarch Collaborative attended by Nicole Hasheider, NCGA Biotechnology and Crop Inputs Director.
NCGA has been an active member in the collaborative for several years, which brings together a variety of national organizations representing farmers, ranchers and landowners, businesses working along the agricultural supply chain, researchers, academic institutions, federal and state entities and conservation organizations.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is scheduled to release its decision on whether or not to list the monarch as an endangered species by the end of next year so increasing habitat is more important than ever.
Monarch butterflies face a wide array of challenges including a loss of habitat and lack of access to milkweed and nectar resources. Monarchs also face threats from weather and climate, predators, pathogens and parasites, and declining winter habitat in Mexico that collectively contribute to the overall population decline.
“Farmers are stewards of the land across much of the eastern monarch butterfly’s habitat and in several critical areas in their western flyway — placing them in a unique position to support sustainable monarch populations,” Hasheider said. “Acres that are not optimal for production make great habitat opportunities.”
If you are looking for more information on how to get started with NCGA’s Best Management Practices for Pollinator Protection in Field Corn, the Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund, Farmers for Monarchs and the Environmental Defense Fund’s Monarch Butterfly Habitat Exchange.
The new Seed A Legacy Pollinator Habitat Program is available for private, public and corporate lands in a 12-state region of the country that is critical to pollinator health and habitat needs. Applications are accepted year-round.