As you may be aware, Grape Vines are considered a “sensitive crop” when it comes to growing them and the use of certain pesticides around their growing area. Kansas growers of sensitive and organic crops are increasingly concerned about drift damage from commonly used pesticides. So as a first rule of business for a vineyard owner, your crop location should be registered with DriftWatch.Org.
In an effort to reduce the risk of pesticide drift damage, the Kansas Department of Agriculture has become a partner state of DriftWatch Inc. DriftWatch is an online service that provides a place for producers of pesticide-sensitive specialty crops to map their crop locations thus allowing for public display of their crop locations. Pesticide applicators (farmers) can use the website to find sensitive-crop locations and minimize the potential for damaging pesticide drift. Pesticide applicators can use the registry to identify where extra care should be taken to protect these vulnerable crops.
So today, I submitted “The Vines”, vineyard locations, to the DriftWatch.org website to ensure that our vineyard locations are well known and view-able by farmers and pesticide applicators in our local area. You can see our submission on the Kansas DriftWatch Map. Our hope is, that the local farmers will review this website and be encouraged to utilize precautions when applying pesticides in the surrounding areas.
Inappropriate pesticide applications is one of the major concerns of vineyard owners, especially in the early years of a vineyards life. Therefore, we are taking steps to ensure that our local farmers are aware of our intent to plant a vineyard and grow grapes. Several steps that we have taken or expect to take in the next few months are;
- Register our vineyard locations with the Kansas DriftWatch website
- Place DriftWatch notices (signs) around our property bounderies to make the public aware of our intentions
- Contact each of the surrounding farmers (within a 5 mile radius) to inform them of our intentions to grow a vineyard
- Monitor our pond and watering supply to ensure they do not contain traces of detrimental pesticides
- Provide public awareness via social media (FaceBook, Twitter, etc…) of our vineyard and its location
Grape Vineyards require a lot of work to grow. It's especially important to ensure that their growth is not hindered or endangered by outside sources which could harm their growth. This first step in our planning should help to ensure that we get our vineyard started in the right direction and provide us with years of successful growth.
If you are interested in learning more about the DriftWatch program then we encourage you to visit their website. DriftWatch is an extension of the FieldWatch ™ program.
FieldWatch ™ was designed by staff from the Purdue University Agricultural and Biological Engineering and Agricultural Communications departments with input and support from Purdue University Cooperative Extension Specialists. It is now operated by FieldWatch, Inc, a non-profit company created by Purdue in collaboration with interested agricultural stakeholder groups. For more information, visit www.fieldwatch.com.