Research being conducted at Iowa State University (ISU) is helping the ag community understand the role it can play in restoring and conserving the state’s monarch butterfly population.

A field day last week hosted at the Iowa State Field Extension Education Laboratory near Boone explained the monarch seed mix the university’s Monarch Research Team developed to research how the plants play an integral part in growing the monarch population.

The mix, made up of 47 native species of grasses and forbs, was designed by the research team and then planted last fall just south of the education lab. The plot is just one of 46 planted throughout the state.

"The idea behind the seed mix, and the idea behind any seed mix you’re going to use for monarchs, is to get native seed," said Seth Appelgate, a research agronomist for the...