Iowa pork producers collaborate with ISU researchers to benefit pollinators

May 29, 2019

IPPA collaborating on monarch habitat

Iowa’s pig farmers are collaborating with Iowa State University on a research project to discover ways to provide more habitat for monarch butterflies. The project is focused on the use and success of establishing habitat near pig barns.

For some, the idea of building monarch habitat has no relationship to pig production, but there is a connection, and it’s more than the optics for public relations or the beauty that eventually comes from the plots that attract monarchs and other pollinators.

“In some ways, the monarch can be the flagship species to help butterflies, bees, birds and other animals,” said Rick Hellmich, a research entomologist with USDA Ag Research Service (ARS) and ISU assistant professor of entomology.

Conservation practices that benefit monarchs also help honey bees, native bees and other pollinators, which play an important role in boosting agricultural production. Click the photo to get the latest scoop in the May issue of Iowa Pork Producer magazine!

Photo of pork producer Tom Tiernan standing in monarch habitat demo plot