b'Habitat Work 2. Making Programs Work for Farmers Past and current threats to monarchsIn the future, the agricultural sector will continue to within agricultural lands includepromote relevant program opportunities, including land management practices, suchnew Farm Bill Conservation Programs, and will work as mowing and the application ofwith agencies to ensure flexibility of those programs to herbicides to remove weed speciesprotect monarchs. that pose a problem for productionPriority areas within agriculture are those already set agriculture. In addition, the use ofaside for the benefit of conservation. By promoting and insecticides in cropped areas couldsupporting Mid-Contract Management opportunities be a threat depending on weatherto enhance already set-aside conservation acres, the conditions and the proximity of habitatagricultural community can better steward existing areas. One reality that must also behabitat so that it reaches its maximum potential. The addressed is farmers having the timeopportunity to enhance those areas is unmatched in to enhance monarch habitats aroundother landscapes across Illinois. Finding the financial a time-sensitive farming schedule.resources and technical expertise to enhance those acres That said, non-cropped areas aroundwill be some of the most important work. The agricultural the farm provide opportunities forsector can rally around this opportunity and have a big enhancing or creating new pollinatorimpact on increasing monarch habitat. and monarch habitat. Specifically, roadsides, field corners, and areas around the farmstead (including3. Encouraging the Planting of Pollinator Habitatsfamily gardens) can provide importantEncouraging more native plantings will be beneficial. resources for migratory or residentSWCDs will include pollinators/monarch habitat pollinator species.conservation in their Annual Plans of Work and Long-In order to help Illinois meet theRange Plans, when next updated. Another strategy for lofty goal of adding 150 million additional stems ofincreasing pollinator habitats is increasing the awareness milkweed, and appropriate nectar sources to the landscapeof the ability to interseed milkweed on existing CRP in the next 20 years, farmers and the broader agriculturaland how farmers can modify their Conservation Plan of community must be creative and intentional about addingOperation (CPO). more beneficial habitat to farmland. In order to do that,It will also be important to continue to educate farmers farmers, their advisors, and partner organizations mustand landowners about fairly new programs to Illinois, feel supported by science, regulatory agencies, andlike Working Lands for Wildlife, and associated NRCS other sectors that share the same goal. programs that specifically aim to achieve additional milkweed and nectaring sources for the benefit of 1. Working Across Sectors monarchs. The agricultural sector will need to work closely with the ROW sector, including transportation agencies and4. Altering of Mowing Practices energy transmission or pipeline companies, as most ofOnce mowing BMPs are established for monarchs their land management work will occur on or adjacentthrough scientific agreement, we must encourage those to agricultural lands in this state. Agriculture must alsopractices for non-cropped areas around the farm. The collaborate with local governments responsible for landadoption of strip mowing practices could be beneficial as management to find shared priorities and promotemonarchs actually prefer fresh milkweed.management strategies that enhance monarch habitat.27'