by Ben Nuelle World of Agriculture 8-15-16
As you drive across the lush corn landscape of Iowa, you might notice Monarch Butterflies.
They are making their way back to Mexico. Experts predict we could see another decline in the Monarch population so one ag company is ramping up and promoting efforts to improve habitats.
Last year, we saw a sharp uptick in the Monarch population. Eric Sachs is a Science and Policy Lead with Monsanto. He says the Monarch population may have rose last year but this year is different.
“This year experts are predicting we may see another decline in the Monarch population. In part, because of a winter storm that killed a lot of the butterflies before they left Mexico and headed north. In part, because climatic conditions have not been optimum for breeding this summer. We’re expecting another decrease in the population. It means we need to re-double our efforts to put more habitat on the landscape.”
Sachs says one way to help Monarch butterflies is through planting milkweed.
“Some of the sites farmers could be looking at are field borders, conservation strips, roadsides, CRP ground, other marginal or wetlands and easements.”
He says restoring Monarch habitats and increasing harvest can be compatible goals.
Sachs says butterflies should arrive in Mexico by late September and early October.