Iowa farmers join in state plan to save monarch butterflies - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Iowa farmers join in state plan to save monarch butterflies

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WASHINGTON, Iowa (AP) - Iowa farmers are joining an effort to create a habitat statewide to save monarch butterflies from extinction.

The Des Moines Register reports that Iowa's two-decade-long effort is part of a 16-state regional plan to develop up to 7 million acres of habitat for the monarch's migration east of the Rockies. Roughly 40 percent of all monarch butterflies that overwinter in Mexico come from Iowa and other Midwestern states.

The state plans to create up to 830,000 acres (335,900 hectares) of habitat and plant nearly 190 million new stems of milkweed. About 1.6 billion stems are needed in the Midwest.

Dozens of conservation, government, utility and agriculture groups support Iowa's plan, including Farm Bureau, Monsanto and Syngenta.

About $5.3 million in public and private funding is dedicated to the effort so far.

Information from: The Des Moines Register,

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