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Friday , November 16 2018
Home | Opinion | Agriculture can save the Monarch butterfly

Agriculture can save the Monarch butterfly

Bright orange. With black and white markings. The distinctive Monarch is the king of butterflies.

If you can spot one. A number of factors has caused the decline of this beautiful insect. Illegal logging in Mexico, where the butterfly overwinters. A drought that has severely affected milkweed, the Monarch’s food source. And cattlemen treating the same milkweed as a pest.

Milkweed’s found mainly in pastures. Cows won’t eat it. But butterflies love it.

There’s a move afoot by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to bring Monarch numbers back. The butterflies are drawn to open spaces. Ranchers have plenty of that. The plan is to pay Texas ranchers to plant milkweed in less productive parts of their pastures to increase Monarch habitat.

Ranchers—who have the land the butterflies need—win. The Monarchs—which sorely need this habitat—win. And you and I—because we get to enjoy these beautiful insects—win.

Sounds like a win-win-win to me.

Author: Gene Hall – Texas Farm Bureau

About Chris Babcock

Editor in Chief: El Paso Herald-Post, Chris began his long journey in Journalism back in the early 70’s. Armed with a Bell and Howell 8mm camera and tape recorder. Chris would go on to document such events as the great plastic dinosaur attack on Tornillo, GI Joe’s dramatic rescue of Barbie from a backyard mud pit and a massive toy train derailment caused by Godzilla. FULL BIO

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  1. Two years ago, my wife, Ann, and I started a foundation in Minneapolis, to try to save the Monarch Butterfly. The foundation is SaveOurMonarchs Foundation, devoted to saving Monarchs by planting Milkweed seeds.

    So now offers FREE milkweed seeds to anyone. Your readers can just send their request for seeds to and click on ‘Get ‘Seeds’.

  2. Monarch butterflies are actually still spectacularly abundant on the glyphosate tolerant GMO corn and soybean croplands that cover the upper Midwest. These three 
videos were shot two weeks ago on those farmlands on southern Minnesota: