RALEIGH, N.C. -This year, farmers can add CropCheck, a pilot program offered by Field Watch, that allows growers to map small grain/commodity crops by herbicide-resident traits. Crops include cotton, corn and soybeans.
It’s been three years since the online mapping programs Driftwatch and BeeCheck were launched in North Carolina. Since then, it has become a valuable online tool for beekeepers, specialty crop growers and pesticide applicators. All registries are free and easy to navigate.
“This program is about increasing communication and awareness between beekeepers, growers and pesticide applicators,” said Pat Jones, deputy director of pesticides programs. “Since April of 2016, NorthCarolina growers have mapped more than 10,000 acres of specialty crops. We hope to see the same enthusiasm and support from our small grain/commodity crop growers.”
CropCheck allows the farming community to be aware of specific herbicide-resistant traits of crops in neighboring fields and then adjust their spray program to minimize the effect of herbicide drift to these important small grain crops. Labels of the new herbicide products containing dicamba require growers to monitor nearby susceptible crops through a state sponsored program like CropCheck.
Growers, beekeepers and pesticide users can access CropCheck, DriftWatch and BeeCheck atwww.ncagr.gov/pollinators. The website offers detailed instructions on how to sign up and use the mapping tools.
Producers of high-value specialty crops, such as tomatoes, tobacco, fruit trees, grapes and vegetables, can map their sites and provide contact information about their operation on DriftWatch. Using BeeCheck, beekeepers map their hives online using pins and half-acre circles and can choose which details of hive information are displayed on the map.
Driftwatch is also North Carolina’s Sensitive Crop Registry, which is required by product label to be checked before making an application of the new dicamba products, such asEngenia, Extendimax, and Fexipan.
FieldWatch Inc. is a nonprofit company created to develop and expand the operation of the DriftWatch Specialty Crop Site and BeeCheck Apiary registries. To date, 21 states and a Canadian province use the program. CropCheck is currently offered in three states, including North Carolina, for the 2019 growing season.
This program was purchased with a grant from the N.C. Pesticide Environmental Trust Fund. It is part of the department’s ongoing efforts to protect and increase valuable pollinators in the state.
–James Burnette Jr., NCDA&CS