Living Acres research initiative underway to support biodiversity

November 16, 2015

Monarch habitat rehabilitation at forefront of BASF biodiversity research

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., November 16, 2015 – BASF recently introduced Living Acres, a research initiative focused on improving monarch butterfly habitats in high-production agriculture. The research initiative, which started at the BASF Research Farm in Holly Springs, North Carolina, works to help farmers and other land owners increase biodiversity and develop best practices for establishing and maintaining milkweed plants in non-cropland areas.

The monarch butterfly is an iconic insect, a symbol of summer in North America. Recently, the monarch butterfly population has declined, in part, because of the loss of overwintering site habitat, changing weather patterns and the reduction in milkweed habitat. Monarchs need milkweed for summer forage and larval feeding sites, and reestablishing the plant can positively impact the population.

“Stewardship has always been a priority for farmers, and it is becoming even more important as a vehicle for improving biodiversity,” said Maximilian Safarpour, Ph.D., Department Head, Global Regulatory & Government Affairs, BASF. “The goal of the Living Acres research initiative is to show how modern agriculture can coexist with refuges for monarchs.”

Biodiversity is an important part of any ecosystem, and stewardship and sustainability practices play an important role in protecting the land for future generations. BASF is committed to finding and providing solutions for maximizing yields while fostering and supporting biodiversity.

Next year, BASF will expand the research to locations around the U.S., including other BASF research farms and land grant universities. In the future, Living Acres will provide actionable recommendations on where milkweed can be planted to maximize monarch habitat and biodiversity while minimizing strain on crop production.

“We are working to help agriculture take a leadership role in this conservation effort without impacting high-yield production acres,” Dr. Safarpour said. “With collaboration from stakeholders, a solution will be put in motion.”

For more information on Living Acres and BASF’s milkweed research initiative, visit

For photos of the research plots and monarch larvae, please click on the following links:

Suggested caption: Living Acres milkweed test plot in Holly Springs, North Carolina.

Suggested caption: Monarch chrysalis found on the BASF research farm in Holly Springs, North Carolina.

Suggested Caption: Monarch larvae on milkweed at the BASF research farm in Holly Springs, North Carolina.

Suggested Caption: Monarch larvae on milkweed at the BASF research farm in Holly Springs, North Carolina.

Suggested caption: Monarch chrysalis found on the BASF research farm in Holly Springs, North Carolina.

About BASF’s Crop Protection division

With sales of more than €5.4 billion in 2014, BASF’s Crop Protection division provides innovative solutions in crop protection, seed treatment and biological control as well as innovations to manage nutrients and plant stress. Its portfolio also includes products for turf and ornamental plants, pest control and public health. BASF Crop Protection is a leading innovator that partners with growers to protect and enhance crop yields, enabling them to produce high quality food more efficiently. By delivering new technologies and know-how, BASF Crop Protection supports growers to make a better life for themselves, their families and communities. Further information can be found on the web at or on our social media channels.

About BASF

BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has more than 17,000 employees in North America, and had sales of $20.6 billion in 2014. For more information about BASF’s North American operations, visit

At BASF, we create chemistry – and have been doing so for 150 years. Our portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. As the world’s leading chemical company, we combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Through science and innovation, we enable our customers in nearly every industry to meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring nutrition and improving quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF had sales of over €74 billion in 2014 and around 113,000 employees as of the end of the year. Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at

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