IRFA: SIRE seeds monarch fueling station project

By Iowa Renewable Fuels Association | April 16, 2019

Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy is one step closer to providing monarch butterflies with a new place to fill up on their cross-country journey.

The ethanol plant seeded their Monarch Fueling Station this week. Seeding was done by local farmer Rick Frost. Habitat Establishment Coordinator Kevin Reynolds said the plant can expect to see growth relatively soon.

“The first year there are a few species of plants that will sprout rapidly,” he said. “However, the majority will spend this first growing season developing strong roots. Managers of the project will need to be vigilant about weed control during this time to ensure the long-term success of the habitat.”

SIRE established the Monarch Fueling Station in February of 2018 with the help of Reynolds.

“This is an exciting next step for our Monarch Fueling Station,” said SIRE CEO Mike Jerke. “We can’t wait to see green sprouts in this field and watch it flourish over time to provide much-needed habitat for Iowa’s monarch butterflies.”

The Monarch Fueling Station Project was established by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association 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.