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USDA funds monarch habitats


Monarch Butterfly Graphic

Mira Braneck, Staff Writer

The monarch butterfly population has seen a serious decline in numbers in the past two decades. However, a new program through the National Conservation Resources Service, a department within the USDA, is providing funding to Iowan farmers that want to enact conservation practices and increase monarch habitats on their land in an effort to help preserve the diminishing population.

The program, in partnership with a Regional Conservation Partnership Program project, will provide funding to farmers for conservation practices such as brush management, conservation cover, field borders and prescribed burning, according to the news release put out by the NCRS. In the Midwest, the program will focus on planting milkweed and monarch nectaring forbs in wetlands.

The program focuses on states that lie along the core migration route and primary breeding range of the butterflies, according to the NCRS. This includes Iowa, as well as Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin.

Farmers and other agricultural producers can apply for funding through the NCRS.

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    Paul CherubiniApr 29, 2016 at 9:28 am

    The USDA is fleecing the taxpayers via spending their money on a milkweed plant and monarch butterfly population increase scheme that will not actually boost their populations even 1/100th of one percent. To increase the fall migrant monarch population by just ONE percent, for example, 40 million new Asclepias syriaca milkweed plants would have to be planted and successfully established in wildscape situations (e.g. farm ditch roadsides in the upper Midwest). Is that logistically possible? Absolutely not even remotely possible.