BASF #MonarchChallenge concludes its 2018 migration
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, December 20, 2018 – The BASF Monarch Challenge, a biodiversity initiative seeking to restore the monarch butterfly population, recently completed its year-long migration, along with the monarchs’ migration from Canada to the oyamel fir forests of Mexico. Stopping in seven locations across the U.S., BASF worked with farmers, farm families and golf courses to promote the planting of milkweed, which is essential for the monarch’s survival.
“As we stopped at each event, we found the idea of helping the monarch population really resonated with farmers,” said Chip Shilling, Sustainability Strategy Manager, BASF. “They want to leave a legacy for future generations, and one of the ways farmers can do this is to plant more milkweed on their land.”
Milkweed, the essential plant for the monarch butterfly life cycle and the sole food source for the monarch caterpillar, has become less common over the years. The Monarch Challenge encourages the planting of milkweed in non-crop areas of a farmer’s land and out-of-play areas of golf courses.
With the support of many this year, the challenge successfully garnered more than 2,600 farmers, farm families and others interested in monarch conservation, and led to partnerships with more than 70 golf courses. This increased awareness in the challenge helped Living Acres plant over 32,000 milkweed seedlings across the U.S in 2018.
Many stories were shared along the Monarch Challenge’s migration this year, but one that stood out came from Hunter Grills, a ninth-generation farmer in northwest Tennessee. Wanting to help the initiative, he reached out to BASF and together with his two nieces, decided to plant a milkweed habitat on his farm this fall to be ready for next spring’s migration.
“As farmers, we understand weeds can be detrimental, but they are also essential to many insects and animals,” said Grills. “We are maintaining our crops so we can produce an adequate amount of food but also being good stewards of the land, and the Monarch Challenge provides us a way to do that.”
The Monarch Challenge first spread its wings in 2016 as part of the BASF Living Acres biodiversity program. Since taking flight, over 4,000 participants have signed up for the Monarch Challenge, and 45,500 milkweed plants have been established on farm lands and golf courses from Rhode Island to Idaho.
“We want to continue growing the Monarch Challenge,” said Shilling. “There are many more milkweed plants to establish, and many more conversations to have on the importance of milkweed to the monarch population.”
To receive free plants next spring, visit MonarchChallenge.com to sign up and learn more about Living Acres and the Monarch Challenge.
For a press photo, please click the following link:
Suggested photo caption: With the support of many in 2018, the Monarch Challenge successfully garnered more than 2,600 farmers, farm families and others interested in monarch conservation. Additionally, more than 70 golf courses joined the cause.
About BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division
With a rapidly growing population, the world is increasingly dependent on our ability to develop and maintain sustainable agriculture and healthy environments. Working with farmers, agricultural professionals, pest management experts and others, it is our role to help make this possible. That’s why we invest in a strong R&D pipeline and broad portfolio, including seeds and traits, chemical and biological crop protection, soil management, plant health, pest control and digital farming. With expert teams in the lab, field, office and in production, we connect innovative thinking and down-to-earth action to create real world ideas that work — for farmers, society and the planet. In 2017, our division generated sales of €5.7 billion. For more information, please visit www.agriculture.basf.com or any of our social media channels.
BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has more than 18,200 employees in North America and had sales of $17.9 billion in 2017. For more information about BASF’s North American operations, visit www.basf.com.
At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The more than 115,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into four segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional Materials & Solutions and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of more than €60 billion in 2017. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS). Further information at www.basf.com.