MANHATTAN, Kan. – Maintaining the rich heritage of agricultural stewardship in Kansas, the Kansas Department of Agriculture has teamed up with DriftWatch, an online mapping tool, to protect the state’s specialty crops.
Inadvertent pesticide drift has been a major concern for specialty and organic crops. KDA recognizes this concern and has researched solutions to deal with pesticide drift of the past decade. Registering with DriftWatch merges the gap of communication between pesticide applicators and sensitive crop growers, lessening the risk of pesticide drift in our state.
Equipped with a dynamic and interfaced map, DriftWatch technology clearly shows pesticide applicators the locations of crops that have been registered through the site. With knowledge of nearby specialty crops, applicators can make more informed spraying decisions.
Applicators can also register the area of their business and receive automatic e-mail updates when sensitive crops have been added to their spray areas.
“Raising awareness of specialty crop locations can reduce the potential for pesticide drift, which can be extremely harmful for some sensitive crops. DriftWatch is one service that provides a benefit to both specialty crop growers and pesticide applicators,” Logan Brown, DriftWatch data steward for the Kansas Department of Agriculture said. “We strongly encourage everyone in the specialty crop and pesticide application industry to sign up for this technology.”
KDA takes pride in working with industry partners to protect the interests of Kansas and the agriculture industry. Working with DriftWatch is a great benefit to the agriculture industry, specifically specialty crops.
There are currently 5,800 acres of Kansas crops registered on DriftWatch. Over 1,600 of these acres are dedicated to cotton and 542 are grapes. The more acreage registered in the system, the more value the program will provide.
Signing up for this site is a simple two-step process. After initial registration has been completed, a confirmation link will be sent to the user’s email. Verifying the link in the email completes the registration. There are no fees associated with the service.
Ensuring a safe food supply, protecting natural resources, promoting public health and safety, protecting animal health and providing consumer protection to the best of its abilities is a mission priority for KDA.
To register with DriftWatch, please visit: https://ks.driftwatch.org/map. For more information on Driftwatch and pesticide application, please visit KDA Pesticide and Fertilizer Program’s web page, www.agriculture.ks.gov/driftwatch