In 2019 FieldWatch, Inc., is launching two technologies to supplement its existing tools that help applicators, growers and beekeepers communicate about the locations of crops and hives.
“After a very successful 2018 when we celebrated our 10-year anniversary, we’re excited for more innovations and further growth this year,” Stephanie Regagnon, CEO, FieldWatch, said in a news release. “Our goal is to continue to evolve our online mapping system, so it can address the needs of more agriculture stakeholders in a more user-friendly way. We will also be expanding our geographic footprint with new states coming on board.”
CropCheck is a new platform operated as a pilot program by FieldWatch that enables voluntary communication between row crop producers and pesticide applicators to increase collaboration and stewardship. Originally launched in 2018, CropCheck was available only in Arkansas as part of a pilot program funded by the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service and developed in coordination with FieldWatch. In 2019, CropCheck is expanding to three additional states: Illinois, Indiana and North Carolina. With CropCheck, row crop producers may submit crop site information to the registry.
Pesticide applicators can access the site to help determine the scope and location of organic crops or crops that are not tolerant to herbicides (conventional crops) to help prevent damage from spraying.
CropCheck joins FieldWatch’s other voluntary mapping tools DriftWatch Specialty Crop Site and BeeCheck® Apiary Registry. The voluntary mapping sites are free for FieldWatch users and feature an easy-to-use Google Maps interface.
Another new feature launching this year will bring additional benefits to applicators. A new data annotation layer is now available that allows registered applicators to customize their experience by adding their own annotations with site information that until now has not been part of FieldWatch’s scope. This add-on feature can reference ‘out-of-scope’ data, such as locations of beehives or crops not tolerant to herbicides, or private gardens. The data on this new layer will be wholly owned and managed by the applicator and will not go through the approval process that is typical of sites submitted by individual growers and apiaries. Applicators will also have the ability to share their private annotation layer with others.
FieldWatch continues to grow its geographic footprint with California and Maryland joining the FieldWatch registry this year.
California’s addition is especially beneficial for beekeepers who travel to the state every spring for almond tree pollination, giving them confidence their bees will be safer throughout the state. California will also be part of a statewide pollinator protection program called “BeeWhere, powered by FieldWatch,” which aims to bring beekeepers and pesticide applicators together to share best practices by tracking and safeguarding hive locations across the state using innovative mapping tools. With Maryland’s diverse mix of agriculture and many urban areas, FieldWatch will be a valuable tool for facilitating communication among stakeholders across the state.