A checklist the monarchs will thank you for following

A how-to guide for establishing milkweed habitats to aid monarch butterflies


From 2015 to 2016, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimated approximately 2.5 million acres of grasslands were lost in the United States. Within these grasslands, pollinator habitats have been on the decline, including the main food source for monarch butterflies: milkweed.


Milkweed is at the epicenter of a monarch’s breeding habitat, as it is the monarch larvae’s only food source. Without the weed, monarchs do not have a safe place to lay their eggs and produce future butterflies.


While there has been a drastic decrease in available habitats due to factors such as climate change and land development, farm families are in a unique position to help monarchs. That is why the BASF’s biodiversity initiative Living Acres created the Monarch Challenge in 2017. The challenge aids monarchs by asking farm families to plant milkweed in non-crop areas of their land.


Eager to help the monarch population flourish, nearly 1,000 families have signed up for this year’s Monarch Challenge. With thousands of milkweed seedlings being sent out across the U.S. in the next few weeks, here are some simple, helpful tips to guide growers in their monarch butterfly conservation efforts:


  • For best results, transplant the milkweed seedlings in early spring or early fall.
  • Find an area that receives at least six hours of sunlight daily, is close to a water source, and is away from frequent mowing and herbicide spray areas.
  • The weeds should be planted at least three feet apart — they will spread.
  • Remove all existing vegetation to reduce competition. This can be done by digging a larger hole or spraying a small amount of broad spectrum herbicide before planting. Do not spray the herbicide at first planting, as it will kill the seedling.
  • If there has been lack of rain for a few days, make sure to water the seedling.


With these simple tips, farm families can help maintain milkweed for the monarchs and increase their population for generations to come. To learn more about the Living Acres Monarch Challenge and sign up to receive a milkweed kit, visit  www.monarchchallenge.com.


About BASF’s Crop Protection division


With a rapidly growing population, the world is increasingly dependent on our ability to develop and maintain sustainable agriculture and healthy environments. BASF’s Crop Protection division works with farmers, agricultural professionals, pest management experts and others to help make this possible. With their cooperation, BASF is able to sustain an active R&D pipeline, an innovative portfolio of products and services, and teams of experts in the lab and in the field to support customers in making their businesses succeed. In 2016, BASF’s Crop Protection division generated sales of €5.6 billion. For more information, please visit us at www.agriculture.basf.com or on any of our social media channels.


About BASF


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 five segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional Materials & Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas. BASF generated sales of €64.5 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.