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Growing milkweeds to help Monarchs

by Ben Nuelle

Source: Wikipedia.org
Source: Wikipedia.org

Weeds will always be a farmer’s worst enemy… but one chemical manufacturing company is actually encouraging farmers to plant Milkweeds on their farm. BASF, a chemical manufacturing company introduced a research program called Living Acres in November.

“Living Acres is a research driven effort by BASF to increase the Monarch habitats. By increasing the Monarch habitat, we also increase the biodiversity which increases the population of the Monarchs,” Director of Global Regulatory & Government Affairs at BASF Max Safarpour says.

He says the way to increase the Monarch population is by growing milkweed.

“We are not talking about planting the Milkweed in the row croplands or anywhere but the whole Milkweed that can be planted and managed in the non-crop area such as ditches, side of the barn, road, or water ditches to increase the biodiversity,” Safarpour says.

Safarpour says Iowa plays an important role for Monarchs.

“Iowa is a place Monarchs will land and they depend highly on the Milkweed. It Milkweed exists, the habitat will increase and ultimately lead to population increases in Monarchs,” Safarpour says.

He says BASF can transfer research knowledge about milkweeds and Monarchs to farmers so they can take the information and put it to use. But can you convince a farmer grow a weed?