In the midst of spring planting season for Iowa farmers, Lincolnway Energy conducted a seeding of a different kind. The plant recently completed seeding its two-acre Monarch Fueling Station.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service laid down a seed mixture of plants that attract pollinators. The mixture has a special emphasis on milkweed plants, the only plant monarchs can lay their eggs on. Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Habitat Establishment Coordinator Kevin Reynolds said Lincolnway Energy can expect to see modest growth fairly soon.
“The majority of the plants are going to spend this year developing a root system, but three or four of the species will grow pretty fast,” Reynolds said. “I look forward to working with Lincolnway on next steps as the plants sprout and grow, including weed control and mowing.”
Lincolnway Energy’s Monarch Fueling Station was established in December 2017 with the help of Reynolds.
“It’s exciting to move forward on this project after a long winter,” said Eric Hakmiller, CEO of Lincolnway Energy. “Protecting pollinators like the monarch butterfly is important to Iowa agriculture and we are proud to be doing our part by creating and maintaining this habitat.”
The Monarch Fueling Station Project was established by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) in partnership with the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium in December 2017. It is a program to help Iowa’s ethanol and biodiesel plants establish patches of monarch habitat on plant grounds. To learn more about the IRFA Monarch Fueling Station Project, contact IRFA at info@IowaRFA.org or 515-252-6249.