Texas Agriculture October 2, 2015 : Page 10

Plan to halt Monarch butterfl y decline announced By Julie Tomascik Associate Editor Bright orange with black and white markings. The Monarch is easily the most recognizable butterfl y. But lately it’s been tough to spot as the population is on a steep decline. So much that the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) started a conservation program earlier this year. “Back in January, the Fish and Wildlife (FWS) Service Director Dan Ashe came to us with some funding that he wanted to use to start a grant program to address the signifi cant de-cline in Monarch butterfl y numbers,” Teal Edelen, manager of NFWF’s Cen-tral Partnership Offi ce, told the Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) Radio Network. The initial $1.2 million from FWS was matched by a three-year, $3.6 million commitment from Monsanto. Partnerships for the Monarch But-terfl y Conservation Fund were also established with the U.S. Forest Ser-vice, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The initiative aims to protect, con-serve and increase habitat for these iconic butterfl ies. And Texas is one of the states es-sential to the recovery efforts simply because of geography. “Monarchs have a really interest-ing and spectacular migration that spans a number of generations,” Teal said. “They end up in Mexico in an overwintering spot and obviously go through Texas to get there, and then come back up through Texas to begin their journey north.” Only a region of Texas—the I-35 corridor and a small area to the west— is in the Monarch’s migratory pattern. That means more Monarch habitat is needed for the area. And milkweed is the only plant on which Monarch butterfl ies will lay their eggs. It’s also the primary food source for Monarch caterpillars. But it’s a weed. And farmers and people involved with helping monarch conservation.” The population has plunged from 1 billion to less than 60 million over the last 20 years. The incentives available through the conservation program hope to help restore habitat, allow for educa-tion and outreach in urban and rural communities and grow milkweed seed and plant production. Eventually leading to a growth in the Monarch butterfl y population. ranchers have worked to eliminate it from their fi elds and pastures. Illegal deforestation in Mexico and a lack of moisture across the continent for several years have also hurt the population. “We are hoping to get private landowners on board with establish-ing some habitat on marginal lands on private property,” Teal said. “Es-tablishing that habitat in marginal lands that aren’t used for production purposes is really a great way to get USDA extends dairy program sign-up deadline The deadline to enroll for the dairy Margin Protection Program for coverage in 2016 has been extended until Nov. 20, 2015. The voluntary program, estab-lished by the 2014 Farm Bill, pro-vides fi nancial assistance to partici-pating farmers when the margin—– the difference between the price of milk and feed costs—falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer. Vilsack encouraged producers to use the U.S. Department of Agricul-ture’s Farm Agency Service (FSA) online Web resource at www.fsa. usda.gov/mpptool to calculate the best levels of coverage for their dairy operation. The secure website can be ac-cessed via computer, smartphone or tablet. He also reminds producers who were enrolled in 2015 that they need to make a coverage election for 2016 and pay the $100 administration fee. Although any unpaid premium balances for 2015 must be paid in full by the enrollment deadline to remain eligible for higher coverage levels in 2016, premiums for 2016 are not due until Sept. 1, 2016. Also, producers can work with milk mar-keting companies to remit premiums on their behalf. To enroll, contact your local FSA county offi ce. O CTOBER 2, 2015 We grow trust. The world counts on growers like you. So count on Inland to combine fast, local response with a far-reaching commitment to earn and keep your trust. • Transmissions/Differentials – Reman or Repair • Complete Driveline Shop • Hydraulics & PTO • Brakes & Clutches Ft. Worth (800) 700-2557 inlandtruck.com 10 Austin (800) 447-3565 Denton (800) 381-2414 Irving (800) 999-8726 Lubbock (800) 999-9425 7/15/15 1:41 PM 0440_Texas Agriculture_July_7.1375x5.125_GrowTrust_02.indd 1

Plan to Halt Monarch Butterfly Decline Announced

Julie Tomascik

Bright orange with black and white markings. The Monarch is easily the most recognizable butterfly.

But lately it’s been tough to spot as the population is on a steep decline. So much that the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) started a conservation program earlier this year.

“Back in January, the Fish and Wildlife (FWS) Service Director Dan Ashe came to us with some funding that he wanted to use to start a grant program to address the significant decline in Monarch butterfly numbers,” Teal Edelen, manager of NFWF’s Central Partnership Office, told the Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) Radio Network.

The initial $1.2 million from FWS was matched by a three-year, $3.6 million commitment from Monsanto. Partnerships for the Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund were also established with the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

The initiative aims to protect, conserve and increase habitat for these iconic butterflies.

And Texas is one of the states essential to the recovery efforts simply because of geography

“Monarchs have a really interesting and spectacular migration that spans a number of generations,” Teal said. “They end up in Mexico in an overwintering spot and obviously go through Texas to get there, and then come back up through Texas to begin their journey north.”

Only a region of Texas—the I-35 corridor and a small area to the west—is in the Monarch’s migratory pattern.

That means more Monarch habitat is needed for the area. And milkweed is the only plant on which Monarch butterflies will lay their eggs. It’s also the primary food source for Monarch caterpillars.

But it’s a weed. And farmers and ranchers have worked to eliminate it from their fields and pastures.

Illegal deforestation in Mexico and a lack of moisture across the continent for several years have also hurt the population.

“We are hoping to get private landowners on board with establishing some habitat on marginal lands on private property,” Teal said. “Establishing that habitat in marginal lands that aren’t used for production purposes is really a great way to get people involved with helping monarch conservation.”

The population has plunged from 1 billion to less than 60 million over the last 20 years.

The incentives available through the conservation program hope to help restore habitat, allow for education and outreach in urban and rural communities and grow milkweed seed and plant production.

Eventually leading to a growth in the Monarch butterfly population.

USDA extends dairy program sign-up deadline

The deadline to enroll for the dairy Margin Protection Program for coverage in 2016 has been extended until Nov. 20, 2015.

The voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to participating farmers when the margin—– the difference between the price of milk and feed costs—falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer

Vilsack encouraged producers to use the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Agency Service (FSA) online Web resource at www.fsa.usda.gov/mpptool to calculate the best levels of coverage for their dairy operation.

The secure website can be accessed via computer, smartphone or tablet.

He also reminds producers who were enrolled in 2015 that they need to make a coverage election for 2016 and pay the $100 administration fee.

Although any unpaid premium balances for 2015 must be paid in full by the enrollment deadline to remain eligible for higher coverage levels in 2016, premiums for 2016 are not due until Sept. 1, 2016. Also, producers can work with milk marketing companies to remit premiums on their behalf.

To enroll, contact your local FSA county office.

Read the full article at http://texasagriculture.texasfarmbureau.org/article/Plan+to+Halt+Monarch+Butterfly+Decline+Announced/2287019/275327/article.html.

USDA extendsdairy program sign-up deadline

The deadline to enroll for the dairy Margin Protection Program for coverage in 2016 has been extended until Nov. 20, 2015.
The voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to participating farmers when the margin—–the difference between the price of milk and feed costs—falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer.
Vilsack encouraged producers to use the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Agency Service (FSA) online Web resource at www.fsa.usda.gov/mpptool to calculate the best levels of coverage for their dairy operation.
The secure website can be accessed via computer, smartphone or tablet.
He also reminds producers who were enrolled in 2015 that they need to make a coverage election for 2016 and pay the $100 administration fee.
Although any unpaid premium balances for 2015 must be paid in full by the enrollment deadline to remain eligible for higher coverage levels in 2016, premiums for 2016 are not due until Sept. 1, 2016. Also, producers can work with milk marketing companies to remit premiums on their behalf.
To enroll, contact your local FSA county office.

Read the full article at http://texasagriculture.texasfarmbureau.org/article/USDA+extendsdairy+program+sign-up+deadline/2289923/275327/article.html.

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