Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey is encouraging Iowans who grow pesticide sensitive crops (such as organic production, vineyards, orchards or fruits and vegetables) and who have apiaries (bee hives) to register their locations with the State Department of Agriculture. A directory is being developed to provide pesticide applicators with the locations of crops that are most susceptible to damage from pesticide drift.
"This new directory will be able to help both producers and pesticide applicators," Northey says. "By taking this extra step to help protect farmers who grow pesticide sensitive crops and people who have apiaries to produce honey, we are trying to make sure Iowa continues to be a great place for all types of agriculture."
The list of locations will be accessible in an online directory at the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship's Web site. Previously, only apiary locations were available. The expanded directory will include crops that are especially sensitive to pesticide drift.
List will be available on IDALS Web site
This list of locations will be available so pesticide applicators can be aware of sensitive areas prior to making pesticide applications, says Northey. The intended crops to include in the registry are vineyards (minimum one acre), orchards (minimum one acre), certified organic crops (minimum one acre) and fruit and vegetable crops (minimum ½ acre). The crops at each registered location must be intended for commercial use, be susceptible to pesticide drift damage and meet the minimum acreage requirements.
Producers and beekeepers will be required to confirm their registration information between January 1 and April 1 each year in order to keep the directory current from year to year.
The Department of Agriculture has also ordered field markers that will be available on a cost share basis to registered producers. Producers can post the markers in the field, at the physical location of the pesticide sensitive crop at a height above the crop canopy that will make them visible to both ground and aerial applicators.
To become part of the Sensitive Crops Directory, farmers and beekeepers must complete the Producer Registration Form and fax it to 515-242-5015 or mail it to Paul Ovrom, Iowa Department of Ag and Land Stewardship, Horticulture & Farmers Markets Bureau, 502 East 9th Street, Des Moines, IA 50319. The form can be found at www.iowaagriculture.gov.
This new, expanded Sensitive Crops Directory is the result of collaboration between the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Aerial Applicators Association.