This article was taken in part from the USFWS Open Spaces Blog, dated February 14, 2017:
“In January, the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) strengthened conservation for the monarch butterfly through the Working Lands for Wildlife Program. Through the Farm Bill, this program offers technical and financial assistance to help landowners manage for monarch habitat on farms, ranches and forests. This assistance helps producers plan and implement a variety of conservation activities, or practices, that benefit the monarch, pollinators and many other wildlife species.”
Good to know — “NRCS conservation practices that benefit monarch butterflies and other insects also help reduce erosion, increase soil health, control invasive species, provide quality forage for livestock and make agricultural operations more resilient and productive. NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to implement these practices, helping producers improve working lands and strengthening rural economies.” (Working Lands for Wildlife Program)
To learn more about assistance opportunities, landowners should contact their local USDA service center.
Bonnie Harper-Lore says
Reminder to chose seed sources carefully. Last year the NRCS supported native plantings here in Minnesota, only to provide a contaminated seed mix. The vendor did not have enough Black-eyed Susan seed for the mix so he ordered from Texas.
The Texas seed had Palmer amaranth (a super weed!) as a contaminant. The Department of Ag and farmers (corn and soybean) are doing everything they can to eradicate the result. Will be costly all the way around.
Moral of the story: With good intentions we can accidentally plant native wildflower mixes that are wrong for where we live, and worse seed suppliers are not always ethical about sourcing. Be careful and buy from trustworthy sources close to home!
Donna VanBuecken says
Hi! Bonnie — thanks for bringing this to our attention. Yes, I had read about this horrible situation awhile back. Fixing this is going to cost the agricultural industry millions of dollars. Here’s a good article on the situation. The problem with the Palmer amaranth includes many Iowa farmers as well.