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FieldWatch Aids Communication to Protect Crops and Bees

A feature from Purdue University showcases the development of FieldWatch, a voluntary program that allows participants to register crops on a public database to help protect them from pesticide drift. The program began as an effort to protect specialty crops by alerting neighbors and pesticide applicators to the presence of sensitive crops. Later it expanded to include listings of row crops and bee hive locations. The program has grown to cover 22 states and a Canadian province, and plans further expansion. More than 30,000 individual FieldWatch users have enrolled more than 1.3 million acres in the program. Participants call the effort a model of stewardship because it engages and meets the needs of very different stakeholders, including growers, pesticide applicators, chemical manufacturers, and other stakeholders.