Communication, cooperation and collaboration – working with aerial applicators to protect your crop.
There is a communication vehicle available to Saskatchewan producers of specialty and organic crops, and bee keepers to identify their location to licensed pesticide applicators to help the producer protect their crop and investment, as well as to allow the applicator to better plan their activities in the area. That vehicle is FieldWatch program (www.fieldwatch.com).
FieldWatch promotes communication between producers and pesticide applicators. It has two elements, DriftWatch (for organic and specialty crop producers) and BeeCheck (for beekeepers and apiaries).
DriftWatch is a web-based mapping tool that supports ongoing environmental stewardship activities such as pollinator protection. Its Specialty Crop Site Registry enables producers and pesticide applicators to work together to protect specialty crops through mapping and information sharing. This program can facilitate the direct communication between the applicator and the producer.
The website features an easy-to-use Google Maps interface that clearly shows pesticide applicators the location of registered sensitive areas. A sensitive area is one that may include certified organic crops and pastures, beehives, fruit and vegetable crops, and greenhouses, as well as a few other crops. The applicator can use this information to help plan their operations and activities in your area.
The initial version of FieldWatch was launched in 2012. Saskatchewan joined the program in 2014. Today there are about 1,400 sites registered in the province, more than 300 of which are organic/sensitive sites and approximately 900 of them are beekeepers. Participation in the program is increasing. Participation and registration in these programs is free of charge for both applicators and producers, and it takes about five minutes to register.
When an applicator registers with the program, they can designate a specific area of operation and will begin receiving notification of sites in their area. Notifications are sent to applicators constantly as new sites are added. As soon as the site is registered with the program, a notification is sent.
The Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture supports the use of FieldWatch and encourages you to register, as the program contains elements of specialty and organic crops and aids in pollinator protection.
If you have any additional questions or need help regarding FieldWatch, please contact Richard Wilkins at the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture at 306-787-5207 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.