The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) is encouraging all commercial specialty crop growers to register their crop(s) on the DriftWatch/BeeCheck web registry. This voluntary tool will help to increase communication between commercial specialty crop growers and nearby pesticide applicators. Growers go online to register their contact information and crop locations. Pesticide applicators can go to the online map or get direct data feeds to their mapping program. They can then adjust their spray applications to reduce the potential for drift. Specialty crops include grapes, other fruits, vegetables, beehives, greenhouses/high tunnels, nursery crops, orchards, fish farms, non-specialty certified organic and transition to certified organic crops, and an ‘other’ category, which could include plants grown for seed, cut flowers, flowers for scented products, woody florals, etc.
Under the Nebraska Pesticide Act, it is a violation to allowing a pesticide to drift off of the target site. Some pesticide labels now require applicators to either check DriftWatch or a similar online registry, or even survey adjacent properties for specialty crops. The more producers that post to DriftWatch there will be fewer problems with drift. And NDA would like to have the most current and complete registry as possible.