Monarch Conservation Toolbox

Pilot Projects

Living Acres

United States

Agency Type

Target or Affiliated Species or Habitat

Original Language

BASF Corporation’s Living Acres project is a biodiversity research and conservation project focusing on establishing milkweed in non-production agricultural areas. The research began in 2015 and is being conducted on the BASF Research Farm in Holly Springs, North Carolina (Coble 2016). BASF research focused on developing best practices for creating and maintaining native milkweed stand on non-production farmland. Dr. Harold D. Coble, professor emeritus of the faculty of North Carolina State University, conducted the study. With direction from the BASF, Coble successfully identified best practices for creating milkweed stands in non-productive farm areas.

These discoveries were compiled into a 7-step guide titled, Growing Milkweed in Non-Crop Areas to Benefit the Monarch Butterfly (Coble 2016). Coble’s publication gives numerous tips and recommendations about how to best propagate milkweed from seed, plugs, or root segments. Coble also dedicates an entire section of the publication to management practices after milkweed has been planted, which includes recommendations on herbicide use and the timing of mowing (Coble 2016). Coble’s “Seven Steps to Starting a Milkweed Stand” are as follows: 1) Seed/Root, 2) Pot, 3) Plant, 4) Spread, 5) Water, 6) Grow, 7) Mow (Coble 2016). More details can be found in Growing Milkweed in Non-Crop Areas to Benefit the Monarch Butterfly and online at this website: <>.

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