New Features Enhance FieldWatch Platform for 2024 Growing Season

Tractor spraying pesticide with FieldCheck graphics
Pesticide applicators can use FieldCheck™ to view maps and receive alerts on sites in Nebraska that are sensitive to drift or off-target chemical applications. The app is free and includes the option to designate custom notification areas for email alerts when new information is available in that area. To download, scan the Apple or Android code above.

New Features Enhance FieldWatch Platform for 2024 Growing Season

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture recently announced a new feature in the FieldWatch platform that aims to better serve the needs of producers and applicators in the state.

The communication tool SeedFieldCheckTM will now provide notifications about the date and location of seed field work in production fields. Seed field locations will be displayed on the map with the other FieldWatch registries, such as DriftWatch, to help pesticide applicators, commercial specialty crop growers and beekeepers communicate with one another to protect crops and pollinators from pesticides.

“NDA’s pesticide program has a big responsibility in Nebraska and that’s to regulate the distribution, storage, and use of all pesticides in the state,” said NDA Director Sherry Vinton. “We take these responsibilities seriously and use available tools, like online mapping resources, to help people in the ag industry work together to protect farm workers, specialty crops, and pollinators from pesticides.”

Included in the online mapping services of FieldWatch are commercial apiary sites, vineyards, orchards, fruit and vegetable grow sites, nursery and Christmas tree production sites, and certified organic and transitional organic crops.

Using services like FieldWatch may help satisfy certain requirements on pesticide product labels. Depending on the product, applicators may be required to check the FieldWatch map for specialty crops or beehives, survey the area adjacent to the application site for these crops, and use no-spray buffers or apply another day if the wind is blowing toward a commercial specialty crop.

In Nebraska, 710 growers have registered a total of 2,333 specialty crop and apiary sites in FieldWatch. Those sites are currently found in 84 of Nebraska’s 93 counties and contain approximately 147,000 acres of specialty crops. New sites are added frequently.

FieldWatch registration is voluntary, free, easy to use, and secure. Pesticide applicators can view maps, sign up for free email alerts and get the free FieldCheck™ app, or receive direct data feeds or downloads. The FieldCheck registry allows applicators to designate a “notification area” for email alerts when new information is added in that area, including sites with seed field workers. When logged in, applicators can see all specialty crop and apiary sites in the DriftWatch/BeeCheck registries (not all apiary sites are visible from the public-facing website map).

The personal “annotation layer” feature allows applicators to customize the map view by adding personal sites or annotations with information that is typically not included in FieldWatch. This could be sites such as non-specialty crops, private gardens, sensitive habitats, schools, or other places where people have expressed concerns. This new layer will be wholly owned and managed by each individual applicator and is not seen by NDA.

Another new feature of the platform, a time/date stamp is now shown on the screen for those who are registered and logged into FieldCheck. A screenshot could be used for application records and may be required for some products.

In addition, applicators registered in FieldCheck can benefit from viewing detasseling operation locations in near real-time, which helps ag applicators stay in compliance with label directions for worker safety. Approximately 143,700 acres of seed corn in 1,350 fields were displayed last year.

FieldWatch also integrates corn and soybeans with various herbicide traits into the mapping system. This enables row crop producers and pesticide applicators to work together to increase pesticide stewardship. When using the DriftWatch registry, producers create an account and map their fields.

Information about FieldWatch and its registries (FieldCheck, DriftWatch, BeeCheck and SeedFieldCheck) can be found on the NDA website or by calling NDA at (402) 471-2351.

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