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

John Shuey jshuey at TNC.ORG
Mon Aug 12 15:42:13 EDT 2002

So - you're telling me that a plant that often spends 2-4 years as a
"seedling"  (4 or fewer leaves per plant and usually less than 6cm tall)
while it builds its root system, must manage to seed in at a density that
carpets the ground and supports monarch larvae (one mature caterpillar of
which would need to consume several of these tiny plants).

Paul- you're just making this stuff up aren't you?  It's obvious that you
actually have no first hand experience with the plants or agricultural
systems that you are talking about, and that you are willing to extrapolate
wildly based on absolute and total ignorance.  Stick to bullshitting your
California friends 'cuase us simply prairie folk don't buy into to your

Now maybe if they fed on Canada or musk thistle  ......
John Shuey
Director of Conservation Science
Indiana Office of The Nature Conservancy

-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Cherubini [mailto:monarch at]
Sent: Monday, August 12, 2002 6:21 AM
To: jshuey at
Cc: leps-l at; TILS-leps-talk at
Subject: Re: Big Oil, Chemical & Farm Machinery companies provide superb
Monarch Butterfly Breeding Habitat

John Shuey wrote:

> Dr. Pleasants  must work in a land where round-up ready
> crops don't dominate the landscape - say like the fantasy world
> of Paul Cherunbini's brain.

> Round-up ready beans, 50% of the bean-corn rotation
> in the Midwest, insure that fields are virtually
> weed-free - milkweeds included.

Free of mature milkweeds, but not milkweed seedlings - the tender,
succulent plants ovipositing female monarchs prefer and the
most nutritious food for monarch caterpillars.

The reality is the area of the USA with the most abundant
monarch population right now (and nearly every year in mid-summer)
is in western Minnesota.  Yet western Minnesota is precisely the
same area of the USA with the highest concentration of Roundup
Ready soybeans, Bt. corn and herbicide resistant corn.

I found milkweed seedlings to be abundant within fields
of RR soybeans and Bt corn. Most of these seedlings contained
monarch eggs indicating gravid female monarchs are actively
laying eggs in these GMO crops.

I think the point you do not understand is that these are
milkweed SEEDLINGS.  In the fall, milkweed floss blowing
off mature milkweeds growing outside the crops is carried by the wind
into adjacent corn and soybean fields.  The following spring
these seeds sprout and grow well within the GMO crops.
Farmers apply Roundup only once or twice a season according
to Dr. John Pleasants and the Roundup typically only temporarily
injures the milkweed rather than kills it all.

So RR Soybeans will not eliminate common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)
in soybean fields because milkweed seeds will continue
to be blown into these fields each fall and germinate the following
spring and alot of the seedlings will do well despite the one or two
Roundup treatments.  Besides, A. syriaca seeds germinate in a staggered
fashion so if some seedlings get hit hard by Roundup herbicide others
will be sprouting and never be exposed to Roundup.

Paul Cherubini


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