b'AdditionalResearch NeedsSeed SupplyThe IDOA recently received funds through the latest federal Specialty Crop Block Grant Program that will focus on sourcing local seeds for monarch habitat. A $66,467grant was awarded to D.K. Lee at the University of Illinois for his project titled Development of Butterfly Milkweed Varieties with Low Seed Dormancy and High Seed Yield. The University of Illinois will address consumer and farmer challenges of establishing pollinator habitats with limited seed supply by developing a local Illinois butterflyEducation and Outreachmilkweed variety, which will have low seed dormancy for easy establishment and high seed yield seed producers and disseminating results to local farmers and seed producers1. Mowing Practicesthrough specialty crop conferences and field days. Changing engrained farming and land management Milkweed Toxicity practices like mowing will be a challenge. Mowing In addition to those needs, more research is needed on thefarmsteads and roadsides have become a traditional potential toxicity of milkweed for grazing livestock. practice of farmers, and in many cases, mowing is a lease requirement instituted by landowners. Mowing improves Monarch Use of Habitat by Patch the look of farms and demonstrates that farmers are taking care of their farm ground. It will take time to and Structure Characteristicschange the perception that restraining frommowingMonarch use (foraging and egg-laying) of the variousimproves habitat and is beneficial to a variety of species. milkweed species in natural settings rather thanEducational opportunities targeted towards landlords greenhouse experimentsand absentee landowners, who are often the driving force behind mowing, will need to be promoted, inMonarch use of block vs. linear habitat patches addition to outreach to farmers. Landscape metrics that influence connectivity between and among patches of habitat 2. Pesticide Stewardship Vegetative structure and composition of naturalFarmers have a close and familiar relationship with habitats that support the most robust monarchmilkweed, as with most other weeds, because they have populations with the greatest reproductive success spent years trying to keep it out of productive fields toOptimal species diversity and seeding rates for avoid crop and yield losses. Weed encroachment is a forbs (milkweeds) and graminoids (plants withmajor concern of farmers, and being able to adequately elongated leaves and minute flowers, such as grasses,remove unwanted weed species in a timely manner is of the upmost importance for sustainable crop production. sedges, and rushes) in pollinator plantings The agricultural organizations represented here willThe role of cardenolides, and other natural work on educating farmers about how to manage both defenses, in female monarch milkweed selection crops and milkweed with traditional weed management for oviposition, the process of depositing or programs. Farmers will need assurances that its possible laying eggs, and how these compounds impact theto maintain habitat close to their crops without fear of development of caterpillars and pest loadsinterference with growing crops.The role of nectar content (for example, amino In Illinois, the Pesticide Applicator Certification and acids, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, sugars, Licensing Program is offered through IDOA and etc.) in monarch feeding behaviorsupported by the University of Illinois Pesticide Safety Education Program. This program assures society thatRole of density-dependence on female monarchpeople who handle pesticide products are trained and selection of milkweed patches for oviposition knowledgeable. The Certification and Licensing program is required by law for anyone wishing to purchase and/24Challenges For the Future and Strategies for Success'