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5 states join FieldWatch5 states join FieldWatch

FieldWatch, an expansion of DriftWatch, helps growers of specialty crops and beekeepers communicate about crop and hive locations to improve stewardship.

April 5, 2018

3 Min Read

FieldWatch is celebrating its 10th anniversary by welcoming five new states to its ranks: South Dakota, Virginia, Ohio, Arkansas and Tennessee.

FieldWatch, Inc, is a non-profit company that helps applicators, growers of specialty crops and beekeepers communicate about the locations of crops and hives to improve stewardship. It is an expansion of DriftWatch, a voluntary online specialty crop registry program originally created by Purdue University in 2008. FieldWatch operates in 19 states and the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. 

“FieldWatch is proud of its 10-year track record of leveraging technology to improve communication and stewardship in agriculture and we are thrilled to welcome so many new member states into the FieldWatch family,” said Stephanie Regagnon, CEO, FieldWatch. “We are thankful for the partnership state departments of agriculture provide us. They play a key role in implementing, administering and financially supporting this important stewardship collaboration tool.” 

FieldWatch operates two voluntary mapping tools that are free for all users: DriftWatch Specialty Crop Site and BeeCheck Apiary Registry. The sites feature an easy-to-use Google Maps interface that clearly shows pesticide applicators the locations of registered areas (sensitive crops or bee hives) so they can use this information to make informed decisions before they spray.

In April 2018, FieldWatch launched two new mobile apps that make it easier for members to access and input data. FieldCheck by FieldWatch is designed to give applicators more functionality from their mobile device and while in the field.  BeeCheck is designed specifically for beekeepers and will provide the same functionality as the online platform, but will make changing the entered location of beehives easier and faster for the beekeepers. Both apps are available free of charge on Android and iOS.

“As an agriculture non-profit, we are here to serve the industry. These new apps will allow us to reach more end-users -- especially grower applicators -- with our specialty crop and beehive data and will allow that data to be accessed on a new, highly functional mobile platform,” Regagnon said.

This year, FieldWatch, in collaboration with nine other state organizations, launched a pilot program in Missouri, called Growing Good Neighbors. The program gathered grape growers, retailers, crop growers, conservationists, livestock producers, beekeepers and other agriculture stakeholders over a shared meal to foster mutual understanding. Three community dinners were held across the state with the goals of establishing good neighborly relationships, increasing communication about crop locations and new technologies, and creating resilient communities with a favorable environment for conflict resolution. 

FieldWatch facts

  • More than 20,000 sites representing more than 34 different specialty crops are registered with FieldWatch.

  • Since 2008, the numbers of acres registered has increased more than 90%, and in the last 12 months alone, an additional 100,000 acres of specialty crops have been added to the registry.

  • More than 17,000 individuals use the FieldWatch registry.

  • Certified organic (or transitioning to certified organic), grapes, vegetables and other fruits are the leading crops on the registry, and 60% of the locations on the registry are apiaries.

  • The following states have registries with FieldWatch:  Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin and the Canadian province of Saskatchewan.

To support and facilitate broad participation, specialty crop growers, beekeepers and applicators are able to access DriftWatch or BeeCheck via the website free of charge. This is accomplished because a large number of businesses and organizations voluntarily contribute to the operations of FieldWatch as sponsors

Source: FieldWatch

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