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    Farming & Crop Protection Living Acres #MonarchChallenge


    Living Acres #MonarchChallenge

    Preserving biodiversity, protecting and creating monarch habitat in non-crop areas next to high production agriculture.

    Monarch populations have dramatically declined in the U.S. in recent years due to various reasons including overwintering habitat loss, extreme weather events, nectar sources for adult butterflies, and milkweed availability.

    Milkweed is critical as it is the only plant on which monarchs will lay their eggs, and it provides food for their larvae.

    To support milkweed and preserve biodiversity, BASF introduced the Living Acres #MonarchChallenge initiative in North America in 2015. It is our first major North American initiative in support of our sustainability platform. The #MonarchChallenge draws on our expertise in research and development, providing farmers with practical best practices for establishing and maintaining milkweed plants on land not reserved for crops, in play areas of golf courses and other agricultural areas.

    Through the #MonarchChallenge, we are doing our part to help restore the monarch butterfly population.

    Since the program’s introduction, we have provided more than 35,000 milkweed stems to farmers, golf courses and other agriculture advocates in the United States and Canada.  More than 5,000 farmers have learned about the #MonarchChallenge and their role in protecting biodiversity. It has inspired increasing numbers of farmers to plant milkweed patches that preserve the monarch butterfly species — all while protecting crop productivity.

    The #MonarchChallenge is just the first step on our sustainability journey. We will use the lessons learned from this initiative to expand our Living Acres biodiversity efforts in the future.

    Resources

    Growing Milkweed on Golf Courses

    Thousands of golf courses lie along the monarchs’ migration path. This is why superintendents have a unique opportunity to play a key role in helping maintain and restore the monarch population. Harold D. Coble, Ph.D., professor emeritus of the faculty of North Carolina State University, wrote a brochure titled, "Growing Milkweed on Golf Courses to Benefit the Monarch Butterfly" to provide guidance on how superintendents can establish habitat in non-play areas to preserve this beloved butterfly species.

    The Great Monarch Migration Infographic

    The Great Monarch Migration infographic follows the amazing journey the monarch butterfly makes each year from Mexico to Canada through the majority of the United States. Living Acres and BASF is helping the monarch butterfly by encouraging farmers to plant milkweed habitat in non-crop areas.

    Monarch Brochure

    Monarch butterfly populations have been declining in the United States since the late 1990s. One of the many factors contributing to this decline is the shrinking number of milkweed plants. To explain how farmers can help maintain and restore the monarch population, Harold D. Coble, Ph.D., professor emeritus of the faculty of North Carolina State University, wrote a brochure titled, "Growing Milkweed in Non-Crop Areas to Benefit the Monarch Butterfly."

    Moving Forward with Farming - The Biggest Job On Earth

    Acting responsibly toward society and the environment is imperative in today’s world. Not only is it the right thing to do, it is a critical factor for long-term business success. BASF develops practices that enable farmers to be profitable and achieve high yields while caring for the environment. These are not mutually exclusive objectives – in fact, they go hand-in-hand. Find out how by downloading an overview of BASF’s monarch butterfly research project.

    Milkweed Refuges in Non-crop Areas

    Farms are full of non-crop areas that can be put to use to increase biodiversity. By planting milkweed and other nectar plants in non-crop areas of farms, farmers can support biodiversity and a flourishing monarch butterfly population alongside high-production agriculture.

    Seven Steps to Starting a Milkweed Stand

    Living acres research from BASF’s research farm in Holly Springs, North Carolina focused on best practices for establishing milkweed. Download a brochure developed by BASF and Dr. Coble identifying seven steps farmers can take to establish milkweed in non-cropland areas here.

    Videos

    Living Acres
    Learn more about Living Acres and how BASF is working to help the monarch butterfly.

    BASF-Living-Acres-Biodiversity-Program
    Hear from members of the Living Acres leadership team at BASF about the foundations of the biodiversity program to help the iconic monarch butterfly.

    BASF Supports Biodiversity
    Why is the monarch butterfly important? Biodiversity in an ecosystem is crucial to maintaining the health and viability of crop production land. BASF is at the forefront of looking at how to increase plant diversity and biodiversity on farms.

    How To Plant Milkweed
    Learn more about how to plant milkweed to create a viable habitat for the monarch butterfly.

    Partner with Farmers
    Farmers can help increase the monarch butterfly populations. Already great stewards of the land, they are uniquely positioned to use the non-cropland areas of their farms for monarch butterfly habitat.

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