Free to both growers and applicators, DriftWatch helps pesticide applicators, specialty crop growers and beekeepers communicate more effectively to protect pesticide-sensitive areas. This new online tool, offered by the Delaware Department of Agriculture (DDA), aims to protect pesticide-sensitive crops and commodities from pesticide drift.
Growers and applicators are encouraged to continue a personal dialogue so that concerns can be reduced. Pesticides are a necessary tool for protecting crops. Applicators are trained to assess spraying conditions to ensure pesticides are placed exactly where needed.
Pesticide applicators are encouraged to utilize DriftWatch to check for sensitive areas near their application sites so they can take extra precautions to avoid causing pesticide drift on those areas. By registering on DriftWatch, applicators can receive automated emails that alert them when a new commercial specialty crop or apiary site has been registered in their designated area.
Sensitive commodities eligible for Delaware’s DriftWatch site include: registered beehives, certified organic crops, fruits, grapes, nursery crops, greenhouses, pumpkins, melons, tomatoes, and vegetables. DDA will review all sites submitted to ensure they meet approval qualifications. Once approved, commercial growers and beekeepers place their sites on the FieldWatch map located on the DriftWatch website.
Note that enrolling a sensitive site does not guarantee that pesticides will not be sprayed near a property. DriftWatch is not intended to be a registry for homeowners or sites less than half an acre.
To learn more about DriftWatch or for assistance using the website, contact DriftWatch Data Steward Laura Mensch at firstname.lastname@example.org, (302) 698-4573, or visit: https://agriculture.delaware.gov/pesticide-management/driftwatch/