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by Aaron Cato - April 6, 2020
What does DriftWatch have to offer me?
DriftWatch is a FREE web-based mapping tool created to promote communication between producers of specialty
crops and pesticide applicators in support of ongoing stewardship activities. It is
one part of the FieldWatch toolset that includes: BeeCheck for beekeepers, CropCheck
for row crop producers, DriftWatch for specialty crop producers, and FieldCheck for
commercial applicators. These tools are available in app form and work together to
allow applicators enhanced awareness of potential sensitive crops or apiaries/beehives
A map of the state is produced for all crops or beehives registered through this system,
as you can see in Picture 1. This allows for an applicator that is unaware of sensitive crops or beehives nearby
to better understand their surroundings. In Picture 2 you can see a more localized area where a specialty crop producer has registered
their crop in the system. This producer labelled the fruit, vegetables, sunflowers,
and beehives that they have on their farm. This allows this producer to be even more
visible in this area. This data will also be synced over to other programs through
the FieldCheck system, which allows applicators to set an area they will be spraying
and get alerts if there are sensitive areas in a set proximity.
Many producers will tell you that good communication with neighbors is key to avoiding
drift. This service not only allows for enhanced communication with neighbors but
also allows you to be visible to other applicators. Many row crop producers rely on
custom applicators that may not be as familiar with localized areas in the huge range
they often operate. This service allows these applicators to be able to easily reference
the surrounding fields and add that in with environmental conditions to determine
risk. Additionally, anyone accessing the map can click a specific location and find
contact info (Picture 3) that you provided for that applicator in case they need to discuss specifics about
Picture 1. Map of Arkansas as viewed through the FieldWatch tool.
Picture 2. FieldWatch map zoomed in to a specific location. A specialty crop farm
is pictured labeled with the types of crops, including the beehives that service these
Picture 3. FieldWatch Map with information of specific producers where applicators
can find contact info for participating producers. This information is accessed by
clicking marked areas on the map.
Getting Signed up for DriftWatch
The Cooperative Extension Service is a member of FieldWatch and this service is FREE to producers, beekeepers, and applicators. Additionally, this service is completely
voluntary, and your information will not be shared with advertisers, etc. This service
is available for those with computers, tablets, or cellphones, but you must have internet
access to use the tools. Below are a series of pictures that show how to sign up for
Picture 4: Listed here are the three starting websites depending on the type of commodity
2. Create an account to register your crops and operation on the appropriate site.
Picture 5: Account creation page pictured on DriftWatch.
3. Choose a central location for a field and enter appropriate information related
to the crop. Be sure to create one for each type of crop that sensitivity may differ.
Picture 6: This picture exhibits the information entering system when you begin delineating
4. After information is entered you will be able to delineate geographic boundaries.
Enter in all fields that are appropriate and then they will be approved by the data
steward. (Picture 7 and 8)
Picture 7: Field margins being delineated on the map.
Picture 8: This picture shows the delineated field with a pin for information access.
If you have any questions at all contact your county extension agent or give me a