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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2012
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    Vermont
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    Default Milkweed...intentionally growing it for Monarchs...info...

    So my parents were approached about some Co-Op that pays you to plant and harvest Milkweed on your land for the Monarch butterflies and then the milkweed gets harvested each year and used for other things (I'm leaving details out...can't recall them all...)

    It pays $800 per acre per year, for 10 years (that's the length requirement of the contract).

    My questions are concerning the milkweed spreading to areas where they DO NOT want it, i.e. his hayfield, because of the toxicity for horses.

    I've always seen milkweed as a nuisance - once it takes hold, it seems to multiply pretty quickly and is hard to eradicate.

    Thoughts? Pros? Cons? Anyone done this? Anything I'm missing?
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
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    Default

    Not every kind of milkweed is right, first be sure they are planting the right one.
    We had a thread about this not long ago.

    You could have them ask their county agent or USDA Farm Service Agency/Soil Conservation Office.

    Someone there can help them with more information on this.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2001
    Location
    New Hampshire/Florida
    Posts
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    Default

    http://monarchwatch.org/milkweed/market/

    Looks like Asclepias syriaca is the milkweed for Vermont (if that is where they are). Common milkweed with the pods that burst and carry their seeds far and wide.

    Another reference:

    http://monarchwatch.org/bring-back-t...ns-seed-needs/



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2000
    Location
    Concord, NH
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    Default

    I'd like to know what you can harvest milkweed for!! We have PLENTY in NH.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 9, 2014
    Posts
    898

    Default

    What Hilary said. I am in New Hampshire also. Thrown out a lot of local hay over the years because of it too. It always seems to be in the center of the bale where you can't see it until it's opened!
    I don't know anything about contracts and farming, but ten years seems like a long time to tie up
    the land with a contract. That is something I would be concerned about. What if your parents changed their minds?



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2001
    Location
    New Hampshire/Florida
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    Default

    Have you seen any Monarchs in New Hampshire this summer? I've been monitoring some wonderful big patches of milkweed, but no butterflies, eggs, or caterpillars. Looked back to last year's calendar and I found a 5th instar Monarch caterpillar on August 15, 2014 (the only caterpillar I found last year). So they must be arriving soon--if they do come.



  7. #7
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    Feb. 1, 2012
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    Vermont
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    Default

    Yes, in Vermont


    Common milkweed with the pods that burst and carry their seeds far and wide.
    This is my concern - milkweed taking over nice hayfields because I've only ever known milkweed to be a pain in the ass.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 9, 2014
    Posts
    898

    Default

    Joanne, I have seen one or two this week. It may have been just one that I saw twice.
    We have no dragonflies at all this year. Last year the sky was busy with them. Remarkably so.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
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    Default

    When the first cultivars of triticale were being turned loose for commercial use, a company contracted with us to grow some for seed for them.

    We did, grew a beautiful stand of it, was ready to harvest when they went broke.
    Here we were, with a crop that no one wanted, too mature to make hay out of it, no grain elevator would touch it, afraid some may get mixed with regular wheat.
    Finally found a feedlot that their nutritionist told them it would be ok to incorporate some of it in their rations, if bought very cheap.

    Years later another company started producing triticale seed and it finally found a market.

    Just be sure of what that contract demands and check that company out very, very well.

    As with any contract, NEVER sign anything without an attorney that knows about those types of contracts looking it over, NEVER.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 4, 2010
    Posts
    123

    Default

    Joanne,
    TONS of dragonflies this year in Central Ohio. I planted swamp milkweed last year and saw dozens of caterpillars but never saw any butterflies. I planted more milkweed this year - not that first caterpillar. But I too recall that it may have been later in the year last year.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 10, 2010
    Location
    Western NY
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    2,036

    Default

    I have plenty of milkweed around but have only seen one butterfly....



  12. #12
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    Jan. 10, 2010
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    Default

    this may sound stupid,as I do not have tons of milkweed..........I always try to let it grow,whether it is in the dog's yard or down by my creek..usually is is just a few plants (and I DID see a monarch on one of the plants just today),,,BUT, I too am annoyed by all the seeds when the pods burst......................so, could I just cut the pods off,prior to their bursting?..then, if I wanted just a few plants next year,plant them where I want them. Will cutting the pods off affect the usefulness for the utterflies?



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2012
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    Vermont
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    Okay, I was able to get the website of the exact program to find out more although the website still doesn't have much.

    This is their home page: http://encore3.com/en/

    I e-mailed the guy my parents spoke with to find out which species of milkweed in particular.

    Here is a story on the program in Vermont: http://www.wcax.com/story/29619199/w...ermont-farmers

    ETA: it is asclepias syriaca (species)
    Last edited by SuckerForHorses; Jul. 28, 2015 at 12:16 PM.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  14. #14
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    Nov. 16, 2000
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    Concord, NH
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    Well I'll be! I am not quite ready to grow it on purpose though. I need my hayfields for hay.



  15. #15
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    Sep. 5, 2014
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    Default

    I had no idea milkweed was toxic... we have a patch growing in the pasture and I've been leaving it because of the monarchs... guess I'll go rip it out now! yikes!



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pehsness View Post
    I had no idea milkweed was toxic... we have a patch growing in the pasture and I've been leaving it because of the monarchs... guess I'll go rip it out now! yikes!
    If your horses aren't dead yet, I'm thinking you're fine...

    Usually eating the live version is only a problem if they are so hungry it's the only thing available. Its not palatable, so unless you're underfeeding your horses, its likely not a problem. We've had pastures for years with milkweed in it.

    In this case, I'm more worried about purposely planting 20 acres of milkweed only to have it seed out and take over adjoining hay fields and ending up with dried milkweed in the horses' hay bales. Plus, once it spreads it can be harder to eradicate later.

    I just talked with my mom and she said they are more than likely not going to do it anyways after talking it over.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
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    Sep. 5, 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
    If your horses aren't dead yet, I'm thinking you're fine...

    Usually eating the live version is only a problem if they are so hungry it's the only thing available. Its not palatable, so unless you're underfeeding your horses, its likely not a problem. We've had pastures for years with milkweed in it.

    In this case, I'm more worried about purposely planting 20 acres of milkweed only to have it seed out and take over adjoining hay fields and ending up with dried milkweed in the horses' hay bales. Plus, once it spreads it can be harder to eradicate later.

    I just talked with my mom and she said they are more than likely not going to do it anyways after talking it over.
    Yeah, I googled after my momentary panic attack. I definitely don't underfeed (quite the opposite, my little hay wasters) but still... I just got worried for a second that maybe they would develop some weird taste for it. And I felt pretty silly for intentionally leaving a toxic weed in the pasture with them!

    I have seen monarchs on it this year so I am loathe to pull it out...



  18. #18
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    Sep. 5, 2014
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    Default

    I also read that milkweed can be cultivated for use in "down" (hypoallergenic down) pillows, so perhaps that takes care of the blowing seed pods? I assume it's harvested well before they pop open.



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