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Jim Meade / Iowa City
Senior Advisor

Pollinator Habitat

I've been encouraged to provide pollinator habitat from Monarch butterflies.  That means planting milkweed. As far as I can tell, monarch butterflies don't aid in the pollination of any of my crops.  They only eat milkweed.

I can see the benfit of pollinator habitat that supports bees and other insects that pollinate crops and beneficial plants around the farm.  Why don't people recommend pollinator mixes for bees?

Maybe I'm an old curmudgeon, but I'm not enthusiastic about setting aside any ground for milkweed.

I've long ago pulled out all my interior fences and I try to keep line fences clean of trees, brush and other undesireable plants.

Waterways and buffer and contour strips are harvested for hay.

I have a half acre on a crooked dogleg of a crick bank that I planted to a pollinator mix, but I didn't purposely plant any mlkweed seed.  If there is some in there it is serendipitous.  C'mon honey bees.  Boo monarch butterflies.

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