Pork producers planting habitat for monarchs

Since 2015, farmers from the Iowa Pork Producers Association have collaborated with researchers from Iowa State University to plant and survey monarch habitat plots on their land. Ben Crawford, Iowa pork producer, describes his three-year experience with the habitat project — and explains why patience was the key to success!

RECAP: Monarch Conservation Symposium at ESA NCB 2018

Researchers from Iowa State University and Michigan State University collaborated to co-host a Monarch Butterfly Conservation symposium at the 2018 North Central Branch meeting of the Entomological Society of America. 

Monarch Conservation Summit 2018

Couldn't attend the monarch summit and field day? We made a recap video just for you!

Participants at the 2018 Iowa Monarch Summit and Field Day enjoyed a full day of presentations and field tours at the ISU Field Extension Education Lab near Boone, Iowa. Mike Naig, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, welcomed nearly 70 attendees and highlighted the importance of partnerships to support conservation efforts statewide. Participants rotated through indoor and outdoor presentations led by:

Protecting Iowa Pollinators

The future of Iowa agriculture and ecosystems may hinge on the health of its pollinators. Meet the people helping these vital species to continue thriving.

Monarch Conservation Field Day 2017

Couldn't attend the monarch field day? We made a recap video just for you!

Wendy Wintersteen, endowed dean of ISU's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, welcomed nearly 40 attendees and highlighted monarch conservation efforts happening statewide. Groups of participants rotated through field day presentations led by:

Saving the monarch: A conservation movement on America's farms

In just two decades, the monarch butterfly population has plummeted by 90 percent, primarily due to the loss of habitat. A multi-stakeholder effort is now underway to build a Monarch Butterfly Habitat Exchange, a new program that will enable efficient and effective restoration and conservation of the habitat  monarchs need for breeding and feeding. Developing this program requires strong partnerships across the country, so EDF experts are partnering with key groups including Monarch Joint Venture and the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium.

Planting monarch habitat in Iowa

Planting monarch habitat

Curious about monarch habitat? From mid-November to mid-December of 2016, our research team planted dozens of habitat demonstration sites at more than 30 locations across Iowa. This video highlights important points to consider before planting such as ideal time of year, recommended soil temperature, and seed planting depth.

Modeling the movement of monarch butterflies

This model shows the simulated movement of monarch butterflies on the Iowa landscape. Each curving yellow line represents the flight path of one monarch butterfly as it moves across the landscape laying eggs on milkweed - take a look!