[Taxacom] Monarch butterfly population reaches new low

Ken Kinman kinman at hotmail.com
Wed Jan 29 20:44:34 CST 2014

Dear All,
        I was just reading another article in which scientists are hopeful that herbicide producers like Monsanto will spend some money encouraging gardeners to plant milkweed in their gardens, especially in the Midwest U.S.A.  My own experience with milkweed indicates that once the underground tubers are established, they do quite well, even in poor clay soils. 
        Shipping out seedlings might work, but I would think tubers would survive shipping better, and would be easier to get established in one's garden.  I would think even shipping out packets of milkweed seeds would be more economical than shipping seedlings.  I've personally only transplanted milkweed tubers, so I don't know how hard it is to grow them from seeds (probably easier than shipping and transplanting seedlings).  Three different options, but seedlings would probably be the least successful in shipping or transplanting.       
                    ------Ken Kinman http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2014/01/monarch_butterfly_decline_monsanto_s_roundup_is_killing_milkweed.html                  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

> From: kinman at hotmail.com
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2014 01:56:31 +0000
> Subject: [Taxacom] Monarch butterfly population reaches new low
> Dear All,                                                         I have noticed that I see fewer and fewer monarch butterflies migrating each year (my favorite insect).  And the numbers have apparently decreased to a point where it became national news even on major television networks tonight.  
>        The main culprit seems to be disappearance of their main host plant, the milkweed.  And that is apparently due to the rapid increase in planting of genetically-modified corn and soybeans which are herbicide tolerant.  It sounds much like the disappearance of honeybees due to pesticides.  More herbicides and pesticides are great for the corn and soybean farmers, but not so great for native plants and insects. 
>        It's sad to see honeybees declining so drastically that trucking honeybee hives around the country is now necessary.  However, I will really miss seeing the monarchs migrating through.  I have some milkweed growing in my flower beds (even though some people comment that it is not a very attractive plant or flower).  But would gardeners planting more milkweed be enough the replace milkweed stands that have been obliterated throughout the eastern U.S.A.?  The Midwest must look like a desert to the monarch butterflies trying to migrating through ever larger stretches of land with little or no milkweed.                      ---------------Ken Kinman                                                                          http://www.cbsnews.com/news/monarch-butterflies-drop-migration-may-disappear/
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