CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) announced a partnership with FieldWatch, Inc. to launch a specialty crop and apiary registry for the state. The goal of the registry is to enhance communication between pesticide applicators and producers in West Virginia. FieldWatch is a not-for-profit company with existing DriftWatch and BeeCheck registries in 22 states, the District of Columbia and the Canadian Province of Saskatchewan. The new registry is free and voluntary to use.
“The future of agriculture is integrating technology with best practices and the knowledge that has been passed down through generations. Giving our West Virginia beekeepers online tools is another way to modernize agriculture in the Mountain State. I am thankful for this partnership with FieldWatch, Inc.,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt.
The FieldWatch platform will allow beekeepers and commercial producers of specialty crops to register and map their sites online with an easy-to-use mapping tool and provide contact information about their operation. Pesticide applicators can access the site to help determine the scope and location of specialty crops and beehives in their areas. The new partnership will facilitate increased awareness and communication as part of ongoing stewardship activities. Both commercial and hobby beekeepers can use the system.
“The goal is to get beekeepers and producers registered through FieldWatch so applicators can get accurate information before spraying. This model has been proven to build good stewardship and communication in agriculture,” said Curt Hadley, business development manager at FieldWatch. Registered applicators can sign up to receive email notifications when new specialty crop fields or beehives are added to their designated areas.
Pesticide applicators using the online and mobile portal, FieldCheck, will have different options for viewing locations on the new system, including mobile apps on Apple and Android devices, but all users (applicators, producers and beekeepers) can go to https://agriculture.wv.gov/fieldwatch/ and create an account to get started.