The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has partnered with the non-profit company FieldWatch™, Inc., to provide online registry tools to promote communication between producers of pesticide-sensitive (i.e. specialty) crops, beekeepers and pesticide applicators. An agreement with IDALS and FieldWatch™, Inc. was arrived at in 2016 with rollout of a new Iowa Sensitive Crops Registry using the FieldWatch™, Inc. platforms as of January of 2017.
These online FieldWatch™ registries support ongoing stewardship activities to reduce incidences of off-target pesticide exposure. The registries provide state of the art mapping features that provide applicators the locations of registered specialty sites. The boundaries on map entries are user-submitted specialty/sensitive site designations. In addition to site designations, the map interface provides other data layers, including one mile radius boundaries around apiaries.
The two online registry tools developed and provided by FieldWatch™, Inc. are 1) driftwatch®: a registry site for use by producers of commercial crops sensitive to pesticides, and 2) beecheck®: a registry site for beekeepers and apiarists. Specialty crop producers with apiaries may enter hive locations using either the driftwatch® or beecheck® registries. Submitted producer site entries are overseen by state-appointed stewards prior to their inclusion in the online registries.
The intended crops for inclusion on the registries are beehives/apiaries; commercial fruit and vegetable plots (berries, fruits, pumpkins or melons, and vegetables); commercial nursery crops; commercial vineyards (grapes); commercial orchards; commercial evergreen/Christmas tree plantings; and certified organic row crops, small grains, and pastures. In addition, all specialty crops grown certified organic may be designated as such on the driftwatch™ registry. The minimum field size for all specialty crop sites is ½ acre.
The FieldWatch™, Inc. registries will help protect honey bees from exposure to chemicals that are toxic to bees. Registered locations of beehives will enable applicators to locate and minimize exposure to applied pesticides. Effective January 22, 2009, the Department adopted an amended “Pesticide/Bee Rule” of the Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 21-45.31(206). The Rule reads:
“45.31(1) Owners of apiaries, in order to protect their bees from pesticide applications, shall register the location of their apiaries with the state apiarist. Registration shall be on forms provided by the department. The registration expires December 31 each year and may be renewed the following year.
45.31(2) Between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., a commercial applicator shall not apply to blooming crops pesticides labeled as toxic to bees when the commercial applicator is located within one mile of a registered apiary.; A commercial applicator shall be responsible for maintaining the one-mile distance from apiaries that are registered and listed on the sensitive crop registry on the first day of each month.
This rule is intended to implement Iowa Code sections 206.6(5)”a”(3) and 206.19(2).”
This amendment effectively ends notification by applicators to beekeepers within the area, but limits and restricts the timing of applications within a one mile radius of the hives.
Forms referred to in the “Pesticide/Bee Rule” can be provided as paper copies by contacting the Department.
FieldWatch™, Inc. provides a variety of field markers or signs for sale. Producers with log in access to the FieldWatch™, Inc. registries can access sign information.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture also has field markers available for sale. Department “No Spray” markers are durable aluminum 12” x 18” signs. Signs are available only to those that have registered on the driftwatch® or beecheck® registries. An order form for IDALS signs can be found here: http://www.iowaagriculture.gov/AgDiversification/pdf/2015/NoSprayOrderForm.pdf or by clicking on the “Order Field Markers” link under the picture of the “No Spray” sign on this page.
Registered producers and beekeepers may update their information at any time during the year. However, because registration expires December 31st of each year, producers and beekeepers that wish to remain actively registered must confirm, and edit if necessary, their registration information beginning in January of the following year.
Click here for assistance with signing up and/or entering site information on driftwatch® and beecheck®
Deer & Elk Producer Premise Locations
Individuals who raise deer and elk are also concerned about the application of pesticides, particularly those applications made by air near their herds. Because of the nature of these animals, planes overhead and adjacent to herd areas are known to cause significant detrimental effects, including the breaking of fences and subsequent injury to the animals, resulting in economic losses to the herdsmen. A listing of deer and elk premise locations is provided so that the aerial application of pesticides, and/or plane turns near these locations can be avoided whenever possible. This listing is being provided in addition to the listings of specialty crops and apiaries. Please use the link “Deer and Cervidae Listing” in the box to right on this page.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship assumes no liability for the accuracy of the information provided by the producers or adverse action relating to the directory. All information is provided to the department by the producers and the department reserves the right to determine eligible producers and eligible sensitive specialty crop locations. The directory is provided as a service to producers and pesticide applicators and does not remove any liability of the directory user to follow all applicable laws, regulations, and rules.