I am traveling thru states that I hear the corn planting statistics progress, and the probabilities of farmers in drier areas switching to growing cotton- as cotton has a tap root and is more drought tolerant. In the state of southeastern Illinois, the FM radio has a request out to the farmers encouraging them to plant milkweeds in the fence rows and strips. Proud of Illinois- but the request is going to farmers using early herbicides and and poisons and crop dusters to protect their crops. This is to assist the Monarchs in their migration they say. Is this going to work????
oh oh! conundrums!
Most farmer's are knowledgeable - Pesticides are expensive at that scale, and they don't want to waste time or money. So I do not think they would bother to plant insect habitat if they were planning on using an insecticide there. When I was a kid in Platte valley of Colorado, farmers would usually have one edge of a property set aside as wildlife habitat, either along a windbreak or along an area that can't be cultivated for some other reason. I would assume current farmers in Illinois would do something similar. This would be an appropriate place to encourage milkweed, especially if it were a low spot, too wet to farm (we don't get "too much water" in Colorado, but I believe they do in Illinois).
What is too wet to farm in Illinois is usually standing water. They mostly wont be using the big walking rigs of irrigation sprayers, so their properties arent set up in water circles. There are a lot of fields and I do see planes- it just sounded so redundant to plant milkweed in hwy berms and fields where farmers know that first butterfly is spraying time.