Living Acres to serve as site for monarch butterfly research

The monarch butterflies’ habitat is the focus of the new research initiative from BASF called Living Acres.

The program helps farmers to increase biodiversity for establishing and maintaining milkweed plants in non-cropland areas. The butterflies’ habitat has declined in recent years because of the lack of milkweed plants that serve as summer forage and larval feeding sites for the monarch buttery.

“Stewardship has always been a priority for farmers, and it is becoming even more important as a vehicle for improving biodiversity,” Maximilian Safarpour, BASF's department head for Global Regulatory & Government Affairs, said. “The goal of the Living Acres research initiative is to show how modern agriculture can coexist with refuges for monarchs.”

Next year, the program will look for places to expand the research throughout the United States, including research farms and land grant universities. The goal for the Living Acres initiative is to provide recommendations to farmers which will help them to grow milkweed plants and develop new monarch habitats while not letting it negatively affect crop production.

“We are working to help agriculture take a leadership role in this conservation effort without impacting high-yield production acres.” Safarpour said. “With collaboration from stakeholders, a solution will be put in motion.”

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