FieldWatch, Inc., is a non-profit company that promotes and administers the DriftWatch, BeeCheck, and FieldCheck programs in conjunction with the MDA. DriftWatch, BeeCheck, and FieldCheck are free, voluntary online registries that allow specialty crop producers and beekeepers to communicate the location of their pesticide-sensitive sites to pesticide applicators. Applicators can then take necessary precautions to avoid injury due to spray drift. This is done by indicating the location of the sensitive sites on an online map. The system is based in Google Maps™ and is fairly easy to use.
Additional resources including videos and user guides are also available to assist with registration and use of the program on the FieldWatch Resources page.
Annual Renewal: Specialty crop producers and beekeepers must renew their locations annually to keep the map up to date. Renewal notices are sent to producers to remind them to renew and update their accounts. When renewing, much of the information is carried forward and does not have to be reentered.
DriftWatch allows specialty crop growers to mark the boundaries of their fields on the FieldWatch map. Beehives can also be posted through this registry. DriftWatch is not intended for field crops (corn, soybeans, small grains, alfalfa, etc.) unless they are certified organic or in the process of transitioning to certified organic. Crops currently listed in the DriftWatch menu are:
- Christmas trees
- non-specialty certified organic
- non-specialty transition to certified organic
- nursery crops
- pumpkins or melons
*If "other" is selected, there is a place to specify the crop.
DriftWatch is not intended for noncommercial sites or home gardens. Sites must be at least half an acre in size.
For more information refer to the FieldWatch User Guide: How to Register Your Crops and Beehives in FieldWatch.
BeeCheck is a version of DriftWatch for beekeepers, who do not also have other specialty crops, to mark the locations of their hives. BeeCheck is simpler and requires less information input. This greatly speeds the posting process for beekeepers with a large number of hives. BeeCheck can be utilized by any size commercial or hobby beekeeper. Beekeepers can choose to have their hives only appear on the map for registered pesticide applicators and not for the general public, if theft or vandalism is a concern. Registration with BeeCheck is required for beekeepers to be eligible for compensation should a bee kill incident occur due to pesticide exposure. Bee kill compensation is considered after a bee kill incident has been investigated and it has been determined that acute pesticide poisoning has taken place.
Beekeepers must register the location of their hives yearly in order to keep an active presence on the registry program.
For more information refer to the FieldWatch User Guide: How to Register Your Crops and Beehives in FieldWatch or view the video below.
FieldCheck is a service that provides pesticides applicators with access to all registered sites. (The FieldWatch program for applicators was renamed FieldCheck in early 2019 to reduce confusion between the program and the FieldWatch Company.) Since new sites are added often, applicators need to check the map often. Or, they can choose to receive email updates when new sensitive sites are added in their area of operation.
For more information refer to the FieldWatch User Guide: How to Register as an Applicator in FieldWatch.
For applicators that also operate in neighboring states, note that many states also use FieldCheck. States highlighted in green use FieldCheck.
North Dakota uses a different system for mapping pesticide sensitive sites. Applicators that operate there should also become familiar with the North Dakota Bee Map.
FieldWatch offers two mobile apps which facilitate accessing specialty crop information. The FieldCheck app allows pesticide applicators to easily locate specialty crop and beehives from their mobile device or tablet. Information about a desired location can be obtained by entering an address or through GPS. The new BeeCheck app allows beekeepers to register and map their hives from the field. This makes changing hive locations easier and faster. The apps are free of charge for users registered with FieldCheck or BeeCheck. The apps are available for both Android and Apple devices.
|Android||FieldCheck for applicators||BeeCheck for beekeepers|
|Apple iOS||FieldCheck for applicators||BeeCheck for beekeepers|
Updates and Articles
The services provided by FieldWatch expand and change over time to meet the needs of users. These changes are described in newsletter articles sent through various channels to keep crop producers, beekeepers, and pesticide applicators up to date.