Ag News

GDA partnership to build bee hives/crop field mapping

by Georgia Department of Agriculture

Posted on Jul 11, 2024 at 16:16 PM

The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) has announced its collaboration with FieldWatch, a leading non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing communication and stewardship among beekeepers, crop producers, and pesticide applicators. The GDA announced June 26 that this partnership will enable Georgia's beekeepers and crop producers to use FieldWatch's innovative technology, providing a secure online registry to map apiaries and crop fields, ensuring safer pesticide application practices.

“The State of Georgia is excited to partner with FieldWatch to make their innovative technology available to Georgia farmers and beekeepers alike,” said Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tyler Harper. “This partnership gives our farmers another tool in the toolbox as we work together to ensure the continued success of Georgia agriculture and make our No. 1 industry more sustainable by promoting safe, effective, and efficient pesticide usage.”

“The goal is to get beekeepers and crop producers registered through FieldWatch so applicators can get accurate information before spraying,” said FieldWatch President and CEO Bob Walters. “This model has been proven to build good stewardship and communication in agriculture.”

GDA’s partnership with FieldWatch is the state’s latest step in a years-long effort to reduce pesticide drift and encourage safety pesticide usage through the Using Pesticides Wisely Program (UPW).  UPW, a collaboration between the department and UGA Extension, is the nation’s largest pesticide safety and education program and has successfully trained more than 17,000 Georgians on safe pesticide usage.

The GDA’s membership decision was driven by the needs of crop producers and beekeepers who wanted to register the locations of their apiaries and crops. FieldWatch's tools, such as DriftWatch and BeeCheck, will enable Georgia's agricultural community to register their locations easily and securely, promote sustainable pesticide usage practices, and be free and available to all Georgia beekeepers and crop producers. FieldCheck is the online and mobile portal that pesticide applicators can use to improve decision-making and avoid damage from spray drift to crops and beehives.

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