By Katie Drewitz
University of Minnesota
Fillmore and Houston Counties
The DriftWatch-CropCheck programs provide a means for crop producers to communicate information about their crop locations and herbicide sensitivity to pesticide applicators. This is done by posting their locations on DriftWatch/FieldWatch, an online map. The field borders are shown by zooming in closely on the map. Pesticide applicators can view this information prior to spraying and take needed precautions to avoid drift to sensitive sites. Some product labels require applicators to check the state’s “sensitive crop registry,” such as FieldWatch, in addition to visually surveying adjacent field prior to making an application. This requirement is on more recent dicamba products (Engenia, XtendiMax, Tavium) and 2,4-D products (Enlist Duo, Enlist One).
DriftWatch for specialty crops was made available in Minnesota in 2011. It was set up for specialty crops such as fruits, vegetables, organic crops, nursery crops, and others.
The development of herbicide tolerant crops has resulted in applicators not being able to distinguish herbicide sensitive and tolerant crops based on a visual inspection. Growers of non-herbicide tolerant field crops in Minnesota expressed interest in posting their crop locations on the FieldWatch map. As a result, this year, field crops (corn, cotton, rice, and soybeans) from the CropCheck program have been added to the DriftWatch-CropCheck crops menu. In addition, herbicide tolerances for the field crops can be designated.
The herbicide tolerances for field crops are listed by active ingredient.
– Herbicide tolerance options for corn are: 2,4-D, ACCase (sethoxydim), conventional/non-GMO, glufosinate, and glyphosate.
-Herbicide tolerance options for soybeans are: 2,4-D, conventional/non-GMO, Glufosinate, Glyphosate, HPPD (mesotrione), Isoxaflutole, STS (Sulfonylurea).
Growers select all tolerances that apply to their crop. The “conventional/non-GMO” option is for crops without herbicide resistant traits. Once posted on the FieldWatch map, pesticide applicators can select the icon to obtain crop, herbicide tolerance, and producer information.
If growers are more familiar with herbicide tolerant trait packages rather than herbicide active ingredients, the University of Minnesota Extension has a thorough review of herbicide tolerant traits on their website.
There are only a few restrictions on DriftWatch-CropCheck submissions. The program is for commercial producers, not home gardens. Sites must be at least half an acre in size.
Crops and herbicide resistances on the FieldWatch map are self-reported and not verified. Also, changes can occur prior to planting and not be updated on the map. So, always follow required setbacks and drift control procedures.
For more detailed information on using these programs, refer to the FieldWatch User Guide: How to Register Your Crops and Beehives in FieldWatch. Also see DriftWatch-CropCheck information and videos on the FieldWatch and MDA websites. If additional assistance is needed, contact Larry VanLieshout, MDA, email@example.com, (651) 201-6115 or your local Extension educator. Fillmore and Houston County residents can call the Fillmore County Extension office at (507) 765-3896, the Houston County Extension office at (507) 725-5807, or directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or my cell at (507) 951-6609.