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New Hartford landowner speaking out in support of Painted Lady Butterflies

NEW HARTFORD, Iowa (KWWL) – The Painted Lady Butterfly has been a problem for soy-bean farmers this summer as the state of Iowa has the perfect growing conditions.

Farmers have taken to treating the butterflies by spray insecticide over the fields. One landowner is speaking out against the spraying of these butterflies for unwanted insecticide on her property.

Mary Love has created a pollinator sanctuary on her land and it’s surrounded by soy-bean fields. This summer brought new critters to the property, the Painted Lady Butterfly.

“You get one species of butterflies you’re killing all the species of butterflies,” says Love. “Then you’re losing a whole step in the natural process.”

Love says the DNR and Department of A.G. officials both have evaluated the situation but could not document the situation.

“It’s a situation that needs help, but I’m one person living in a state that depends on agriculture,” says Love.

Terry Basol a field agronomist from the Iowa State University Extension says Iowa has had perfect growing conditions for these butterflies. Normally, farmers don’t have to worry about them during the summer.

“We usually get them a little bit each year and they have low enough population of them that we don’t even worry about treating for them,” says Basol. “They’re usually out there in the field in a low population and then they migrate back south again and we don’t have to worry about it.”

Vinny Lowerre

Producer & Multimedia Journalist

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