GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Calling all farmers and farm families! Agriculture company, BASF has a new monarch challenge that offers free milkweed plants to farmers that live along the monarch super highway that runs from Mexico to Canada along Interstate 35. That includes Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The idea is that farmers have some land surrounding farm fields that isn't being used for crops but is perfect for milkweed and other pollinator plants. They are already working hard to feed the world, but we're hoping farmers can help feed the monarchs too!
Monarch population has been in decline in recent decades and every little bit of help is crucial to their survival. While farmers can join the challenge officially, Bobby and I hope homeowners will plant a monarch garden too!
Milkweed is very important for feeding the monarch caterpillars, but nectar plants are just as important for feeding the butterflies. I encourage homeowners to plant native perennials. A couple of my favorites are obedient plant, purple coneflower, Jacob's ladder and meadow blazing star. Bobby has a couple annuals that top his list. They are Mexican sunflower and lantana.
The Xerces Society also has a few suggestions. Get out and get planting!