University of Missouri Researchers Study Pollinator Health

In *All by Ag is America

The University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ Agricultural Research Centers planted 22 acres of monarch habitat across the state in 2015. The plantings brought awareness to the monarch butterfly migration. Observations of these plantings have lead to a study of what plants keep the monarch populations healthy.

For the past two years, the habitat has continued to grow, allowing for observations and community education. The habitats have even been showcased during several field days, as well as other community outreach events. With help from a grant from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), researchers will be working to find what combination of nectar plants and milkweed works best to not only keep the monarch population healthy, but the bumblebee population as well. The bumblebee population is incredibly important from an agricultural standpoint, as they pollinate the food grown every day.

Trying a variety of nectar species spread throughout a field setting, the goal of the research project is to find not only how much plant diversity should be included in a pollinator habitat, but where that habitat is best suited on a farm.

There will be a community involvement part of the research as well. There will be an observational form that individuals can fill out, describing when monarchs are seen across Missouri, as well as several other items.

To learn more about the great work the University of Missouri is doing, read more here.

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