NDSU Extension - Sargent County

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Butterflies

ButterfliesThe crops are still looking healthy and are progressing in growth rapidly.  We had good weather this past week with average temperatures and a few scattered thunderstorms.  We have had adequate moisture all season with timely rains when needed, often times there has been excess moisture.  The small grains are being harvested quickly, with average yields from harvested fields.  The beans are setting pods and some of the edible beans are dropping leaves.  The corn is entering the dough stage, which is when inside the kernels have a “doughy” consistency.  We have a few sunflower acres in the county and they are near the end of their beautiful blooming stage.

I have heard from many people this year that it seems there has been an abundance of butterflies.  This is typically a good thing to see these beauties flying around and helping to pollinate our flowers.  We had a lot of strong South winds this spring that may have caused more insects to migrate further north to arrive here.  North Dakota has several types of butterflies that can be placed into recognizable groups based on their characteristics. 

The most common and easily recognized butterfly we have in North Dakota is the Monarch.  This butterfly is one that everyone enjoys seeing in their yards.  A butterfly that closely resembles the Monarch is the Painted Lady Butterfly.  The Painted Lady Butterfly isn’t always as welcomed, because the caterpillar form is the Thistle Caterpillar, which can cause damage to area soybean fields.

If you love seeing these beautiful creatures in your yards it is important to provide them a habitat that they will be happy living in.  Provide an array of nectar producing perennial flowers in your yard that will flower at different times throughout the season.  Reduce your herbicide spraying and provide a sunny sheltered area for the flowers to thrive.  More information about butterfly gardening can be found at: https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/lawns-gardens-trees/butterfly-gardening-in-north-dakota    

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/painted-lady-butterfly-vanessa-cardui-55995/ (downloaded 8/26/20)

    

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