Big Oil, Chemical & Farm Machinery companies provide superb Monarch Butterfly Breeding Habitat

Robert Dana robert.dana at
Mon Aug 12 10:37:32 EDT 2002

Well, as has been said before, every cloud has a silver lining.

But wait . . . these Iowa State entomologists--have they published
anything on this? What methodology did they use to determine the
relative production of crop fields vs., say, road margins, pastures,
etc? Before I become too enthusiasitic about industrial agriculture, I
guess I should check these details out.

Oh, and Colias philodice and eurytheme are flourishing in MN alfalfa

Robert Dana

>>> Paul Cherubini <monarch at> 8/11/02 4:56:41 PM >>>
The most concentrated summer monarch breeding populations
in the world exist in the upper midwestern USA.  In particular,
Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa, have a great abundance of
monarchs in the summer.  

Just where do these monarchs breed?  According to Iowa State 
entomologists It turns out most of them breed on milkweed plants 
growing WITHIN the canopy of crop monocultures such as corn and 
soybeans  I got to see this first hand during a visit to the area of 
Morris, Minnesota on July 28 - Aug. 1

As you view the following pictures, bear in mind:

a)  Monsanto and Dupont provided the crop seeds and herbicides
that help the crop to flourish

b) John Deere tractors provided the machinery to prepare the soil and 
harvest the crops 

c) Big oil companies provided the gasoline and oil run the tractors

d) Chemical companies provided the nitrogen fertilizer required to 
help the crops flourish. 

If you're wondering just what makes these crop monocultures
such great monarch breeding habitat well its because:

1. A reduced abundance and diversity of monarch egg and 
caterpillar parasites and predators exists WITHIN the monoculture
crop canopy.

2. The rich, fertile, well aerated soil and crop irrigation water 
promotes the survival and growth of milkweed seedlings. Tender
and well watered milkweed seedlings promote the production of big, 
vigorous monarch caterpillars and butterflies. 

3.  Red Clover and Alfalfa crops (livestock feed) commonly planted
in the same region or on the borders of the crops provide a rich, 
abundant nectar source for monarch and other butterflies. 

Paul Cherubini
Placerville, Calif.


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