By Tana Haugen and Larry VanLieshout
As the season progresses, it’s a good time for pesticide applicators to review where sensitive crops and beehives are located. FieldWatch has tools such as DriftWatch, FieldCheck, and BeeWatch which allow specialty crop growers (fruits, vegetables, organic produce) and beekeepers to mark the locations of their sites on a map so that applicators are aware of their presence.
Larry VanLieshout from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture shares this important information to better navigate the FieldWatch web-based resource:
To get started, go to FieldWatch.com. From this page producers and applicators can choose the service they use to access their account or create a new one. DriftWatch allows specialty crop producers to mark the locations of their fields and beehives. BeeCheck is a simpler version for producers with only beehives. The FieldCheck tool allows pesticide applicators to mark their area of operation and receive email updates if new sensitive crop sites are added in their region.
Each of the icons on the map represents a specialty crop field or beehive location that has been submitted.
Image: Example of FieldWatch map, February 2020.
Applicators who register for FieldWatch can access the maps to check for sensitive sites. You can zoom in to see the field borders and selecting an icon brings up contact information for that producer.
For more information about using FieldWatch, select the “Resources” tab on the main website page. On the "Resources" page, there are links to videos and detailed user guides explaining how to use the FieldWatch system. Download the free BeeCheck and FieldCheck Apps for your mobile device by selecting the link on the bottom of the resources page.
DriftWatch is for commercial producers with at least ½ acre (not for home gardens). The Driftwatch program has been around for a number of years. This voluntary program’s goal is to promote pesticide sensitive site awareness and enable communication between applicators and producers of sensitive crops to prevent unwanted pesticide drift. DriftWatch is not owned by MDA and it is not a regulatory program.
BeeCheck can be used by hobby or commercial beekeepers. Remember, these services are voluntary, free, and non-regulatory.
Although there is free public FieldWatch map online, applicators should still register for FieldCheck. Beekeepers can choose not to have their hives displayed on the public map if theft or vandalism is a concern. However, registered applicators are shown the locations of all the enrolled beehives.
Source : umn.edu