- Take advantage of farm bill programs to establish monarch breeding habitat.
Increasing the number of milkweeds and native wildflowers is vital to monarch conservation.
In addition, these efforts support biodiversity by benefitting other pollinators and native wildlife.
Contact your local USDA Service Center for more information and learn about available programs at nrcs.usda.gov.
- Establish monarch habitat on your land as part of a demonstration project.
Consider installing habitat as you install bioreactors, grassed waterways or other water quality practices. Farmsteads and areas near livestock buildings can also become useful habitat. Find a local conservation expert to help you get started at https://naturalresources. extension.iastate.edu/local-habitat-experts.
- Follow federal pesticide labels and state regulations when applying pesticides.
Adjust spray equipment to reduce drift by using low pressures, large droplets, and low boom heights. Avoid applications when wind speed is above 10 mph or wind direction is toward monarch habitat. More information is available through the Environmental Protection Agency at epa.gov/pollinator-protection.
- Consider monarch-friendly weed management recommendations for roadsides and other rights-of-way. Roadsides can offer miles of monarch habitat (milkweed and nectar plants). Ask your county roads department to avoid spraying or mowing your roadside, and for permission to plant or maintain native plants in your roadside. No mow/no spray signs, FAQs for landowners, mowing law and more is available through the Tallgrass Prairie Center at tallgrassprairiecenter.org/irvm-brochures.
- Establish a Monarch Waystation. Establish a Monarch Waystation, a garden with both nectar plants and milkweeds, where monarchs can find nectar and reproduce. Monarchs lay eggs on milkweeds, the only food monarch caterpillars eat. Adults need nectar from early spring to late fall. Find more information on how to establish a Monarch Waystation at monarchwatch.org
How does this strategy help the monarch butterfly?
As part of the process of developing the strategy, 5 Ways to Help
the Monarchs have been identified. The collaborative efforts that
led to the creation of the strategy will continue as the strategy
is updated annually. As conservation efforts progress, resources
will be in place to distribute information and foster success in
Iowa and beyond.
How can I help?
Since monarch caterpillars need milkweed, you can help by adding
milkweed habitat. Every milkweed planted here is important,
whether you have space for a small garden or patch of native prairie.
If you don’t have a yard, you can simply find a public place, such as
a school or church and help plan a garden addition.
Winter is a great time to begin to plan for your butterfly-friendly garden. Watch this site for more info on butterflies and hummingbirds.
Source: Iowa State University Horticulture Program