BASF Monarch Challenge surpasses expectations

by | Dec 20, 2019 | 5 Ag Stories, News

Pollinators have been a topic of discussion for a couple of years in agriculture. Sometimes the discussions have been less than civilized, but they are happening all the same. Some in agriculture are deciding that it is better to try and do something to help rather than dig in their heels and fight. Ag Companies are joining them. BASF first launched its Monarch Challenge in 2015. Every year they challenge more farmers to do better in protecting habitat for the winged critters. In 2019, they issued the challenge again, and the results this year were better than expected.

The goal of the monarch challenge is to get farmers to provide some habitat for the monarch butterflies. The essential piece in this habitat is the milkweed. This sticky and gooey weed is the primary food source for monarch caterpillars. Chip Schilling is the Sustainability Strategy manager at BASF. He talks about the milkweed?s importance.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife will decide in the next year about whether to protect the monarch under the Endangered Species Act. This would have serious ramifications in the agriculture sector. Schilling says it is better to be proactive now, than reactive later. More milkweed and native flowering plants must be reestablished, and BASF is planning to help.

The monarch and other pollinators are essential to the success of U.S. agriculture. Schilling says BASF is working to help farmers understand their importance of protecting the vital habitats for these insects.

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BASF?s goal was to sign up another 1,000 farmers sign up for the Monarch Challenge. When all was said and done, over 2,500 farmers signed up.