The yearly count of the Eastern Monarch butterfly population that overwinters in Mexico was released recently, showing an increase of 144% over last year’s count.
After years of struggles with a host of challenges from bad weather to loss of habitat the large butterfly count the highest count since 2006 comes as welcome news. But not too fast, because Western Monarchs continue to struggle due to drought, wildfires, pesticides and loss of habitat.
Landowners and farmers are uniquely situated to support the Monarch and are already making a difference. Habitat plantings can fit into many niches on the agricultural landscape, including conservation lands, grazing lands, rights-of-way, field margins, field borders, pivot corners, conservation lands, ditches, buffers and other low-productive lands. Milkweed and other nectar-producing flowers planted in these areas yield multiple on-farm benefits.
In 2018, Environmental Defense Fund and National Corn Growers Association launched a first-of-its-kind partnership between an environmental organization and commodity crop association.