DriftWatch Pesticide Sensitive Viewer for Applicators
The Colorado Department of Agriculture has recently entered into a cooperative agreement with Purdue University to implement the DriftWatch Pesticide Sensitive Viewer program in the State of Colorado. What is DriftWatch you may ask?
DriftWatch was designed in 2008 by staff from the Purdue University Agricultural and Biological Engineering and Agricultural Communications departments with input and support from Purdue University Cooperative Extension Specialists. This year, with the help of EPA funding, the Colorado Department of Agriculture has now implemented DriftWatch in the State of Colorado.
DriftWatch was developed to help pesticide applicators, specialty crop growers and stewards of at-risk habitats to communicate more effectively to protect pesticide-sensitive areas. DriftWatch is not intended to be a registry for homeowners or sites less than half an acre of agriculture production.
The site features an easy-to-use Google Map interface that clearly shows applicators the locations of registered areas so they can take the appropriate precautions and if need be communicate with a DriftWatch participant before they spray.
Some of the sensitive crop areas, or data layers, that CDA intends to register in Colorado include beehives, certified organic crops, fruits, grapes, nursery crops, pumpkins, melons, tomatoes and vegetables. The Department will review and consider adding additional sensitive sites upon request by growers or applicators.
Registration is voluntary and simple. For agricultural producers it involves going to the Colorado DriftWatch site, which will be accessible through www.Driftwatch.org or through CDA's website, where they will be directed how to register their field sites, commodity and contact information. When commercial applicators register they will designate the area within the state they perform work, which will allow them to see DriftWatch participants located within that area. Applicators can also receive an e-mail notifying them of newly registered growers in their designated area.
The Colorado DriftWatch program is up and running! The Department would be happy to speak to your Association members to provide an overview of the Driftwatch program and answer any questions you may have. You may contact John Scott at 303-239-4179 if you have any questions or to request a formal presentation of Driftwatch.
Thank you and the Department looks forward to working with you!
Pesticides Program Manager
Colorado Department of Agriculture