One thing we talked about at this year’s Pesticide Applicator’s Training is a re-tooled web site called driftwatch.org. Driftwatch is a registry site that eleven states including Nebraska participate.
The DriftWatch Specialty Crop Site Registry is a voluntary communication tool that enables crop producers, beekeepers, and pesticide applicators to work together to protect specialty crops and apiaries through use of the DriftWatch registry mapping program. It is not a substitute for any state regulatory requirements.
Applicators can get advanced integration capabilities to help avoid spraying specialty sites and receive notifications when sites are moved or added to the DriftWatch database. Producers get extra peace of mind knowing their crops have an additional layer of protection against accidental pesticide drift.
After you get to the site, go to the Driftwatch Map menu selection across the top ribbon bar of the page. On the left side of the map, you can select which crop types that you’d like to see a map for. Then using the zoom feature, you can go to the state or area of the state that you’d like to search for. To move from state to state, simply drag the map around with the mouse on the screen.
Drift Watch can be used two ways. If you are growing sensitive crops, you may list your site on the map. This will help those farming near you to know that they need to be mindful of drift hazards. For everyone else, the site will allow producers to see what their neighbors are growing and be sure that they plan their chemical applications to not cause injury to those neighbor’s crops. Even certified organic crops can be listed on the site.
Driftwatch is not a substitute for good neighbor communications, but it is a tool that can aid in protecting sensitive crops from spray drift.
Announcement: The Platte County Courthouse will be closed on Friday, April 25, for the Arbor Day State Holiday. The Extension Office will also be closed that day.
Announcement: If anyone still needs Chemigation training and testing for 2014, there is one more session on May 21, 9:00 a.m. at the Life-long Learning Center, Northeast Community College Campus, Norfolk. Arrive 15 minutes early for registration. Bring along a calculator to aid in taking the test. No charge to attend.
For more information or assistance, please contact Allan Vyhnalek, Extension Educator, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Extension in Platte County. Phone: 402-563-4901 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org