by Ben Nuelle
A new website will replace the Sensitive Crop Directory currently operated by Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship later this summer.
The Agribusiness Association of Iowa Foundation presented Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey with check for $25,000 Wednesday.
The money will help assist Iowa in joining FieldWatch, Inc., a non-profit company operating driftwatch™ and beecheck™ – a voluntary online specialty crop and apiary registry program.
AAI Foundation President Tracy Gathman says they believe FieldWatch is a more sophisticated system than currently in place in Iowa.
“This higher level of technology will be helpful to all parties involved. All applicators, ground applicators and air applicators alike, are committed to using the most efficient system available in an effort to protect both specialty crops and pollinators.”
President and CEO of FieldWatch Reid Sprenkel greatly appreciates AAI.
“You certainly have stepped up to bring the funding necessary to enable Iowa to adopt this tool and join FieldWatch as a member and that’s a great deal and legwork on your part for over a year or two years now and can’t thank you enough for bringing that to fruition.”
Iowa has had a sensitive site register for almost a decade but Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey says this is a step up.
“This will make it easier for folks to register their sites. It will make it easier for those making application of crop protections products to be able to figure out where those sites are. It is going to be very important to maintaining the opportunity to use products, where we need to use products, and be able to protect other sensitive crops and certainly our pollinators as well.”
The funds from AAI will cover an initial one-time license fee of $24,500 and the remaining $500 will be used to purchase signage.