DES MOINES, IOWA, June 18, 2019 – A group of Iowa conservation partners is encouraging farmers to utilize a special funding opportunity for implementing monarch butterfly and other pollinator-supporting practices on their farms.
Through a Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) project called Improving Working Lands for Monarch Butterflies, Pheasants Forever, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation are collaborating to provide incentive payments to Iowa landowners for planting diverse stands of native grasses and wildflowers that benefit pollinators and other wildlife.
The Monarch RCPP project is funded through the NRCS-administered Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). NRCS accepts program applications on a continuous basis, but only applications filed by July 12 are eligible for the next round of funding.
Josh Divan, Coordinating Wildlife Biologist with Pheasants Forever, says monarch plantings can be established in areas of unproductive cropland, used to square up oddly shaped fields, in sensitive areas such as buffers around waterways or wetlands, in pastures, and in other suitable locations. “The Monarch RCPP-CSP also supports new and existing conservation activities on cropland and pastureland,” he said. “helping to reduce erosion, improve soil health, control invasive species, provide quality livestock forage, and make agricultural operations more resilient and productive.”