The monarch has suffered from significant population declines over the past two decades. Through Farm Bill conservation programs and technical assistance, NRCS will work with partners and clients to increase monarch habitat on private lands. While the monarch butterfly occurs in 49 different States, NRCS is targeting the effort to the core migration route and the primary breeding range. The Monarch Butterfly Habitat Development Project document was developed and distributed within NRCS in 2015 and provides the foundation for the targeting of financial assistance. In the Midwest, the effort is focused on plantings of milkweed and monarch nectaring forbs in wetlands and other marginal lands. In the southern Great Plains, the effort is focused on improving monarch habitat on existing grasslands.
Program applications are accepted on a continuous basis, however, NRCS establishes submission deadline dates for evaluation, ranking, and approval of eligible applications. The next cutoff deadline for ranking applications for this project is October 20, 2017. The second cutoff deadline for ranking applications for fiscal year 2018 is March 16, 2018.