Milkweed seed pods are now maturing to the point where they can be harvested! This weekend will be a good time to scout fields and pick pods that are ready for harvest. Pods will appear slightly gray and will have dried out when ready to pick. The key point is the seeds inside should be brown before harvesting.
Last year’s massive statewide seed collection effort was spearheaded by the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative (OPHI), which is working to get the word out about why monarch butterflies are disappearing and help partners create monarch habitat. The disappearance of milkweed, the only host plant for monarch caterpillars, across the U.S. has contributed to the 80% decline of the eastern monarch butterfly population over the last 20 years: http://ow.ly/ncwE30fwsKC
Contact your local Soil and Water Conservation office for dropping off your pods: https://agri.ohio.gov/…/divisio…/soil-and-water-conservation
• Store the pods in paper bags; plastic bags collect unwanted moisture.
• Put the date and county collected on the bag when you turn them in.
• Keep the pods in a cool, dry area until you can deliver them to the nearest collection site.