Crop dusting in the United States began in 1921. Farmers generally dumped a hopper full of pesticide onto an orchard from a plane.
Aerial applications are still important. Most commonly, small, fixed wing aircrafts are used. However, for high precision applications, companies may resort to helicopters. Planes are used to drop seeds, pesticides and fertilizer on plants. Both insecticides and herbicides are also used.
In the early days, the chemicals were put in a drum or a makeshift hopper and simply thrown out of the plane onto field or orchard. Nowadays, specialist crop dusting equipment is used. Some standard small planes are used, but there are also crafts that are built specifically for crop dusting. A spray system is attached to the underside of the wings, through which chemicals from a tank are directed. Because of the slow speeds required, some elderly biplanes remain in service, advantaged by their low stall speed.
Spraying from the air has proved to be the best way to achieve an even distribution of pesticides over a field. Seeds of plants, such as alfalfa and wheat, may be dropped. Grass seed also responds well to aerial spraying. However, most crop dusting involves pesticides and other chemicals. For example, a carefully timed spraying of fungicide can prevent corn tassel fungus, which can significantly reduce yields.
Crop dusters control weeds, bugs and other pests. They provide a valuable service to agriculture and large scale horticulture. In fact, they are a key part of our ability to have fresh fruits and vegetables year round.
Maintenance of crop duster machinery, including planes, is also important. In addition, great safety precautions have to be taken. A modern crop duster uses a global positioning system to ensure that they are on target and not dropping their load of chemicals into a canal or other water source.
Spraying chemicals, such as pesticide, insecticide, and herbicide, can be important in the maintenance of your crop. Dusting seeds can help them grow into healthy produce. Agriculture is continually needed through the year, and it is up to the farmer to do the proper maintenance so seeds grow into a product they can sell. Certain planes are available that can do the dusting or spraying of chemicals on wheat, corn, and other crops. You will find some companies will rent planes so that you can spray fertilizers over a field, or do a pyronyl crop spray to control mosquitos in residential areas for the prevention of west nile virus. Before any dusting or spraying is done, there will need to be an aerial image made so the aircraft pilot will know where to spray. Some agriculture companies will sell equipment needed to keep bugs and disease from farms. Tanks to hold the pesticide and machines that will make the job easier will all be available. Renting a helicopter for agriculture services is another option you have. Weed control is important so your crop isn't over run with unwanted plants, while grass and alfalfa will also need to grow healthy in order to feed animals. You will want to find an agriculture spraying company that is experienced and has a good understanding of what they will need to be doing in order to help your crop instead of destroy it. Some may only rent you the equipment and leave you to do the work, while others will have services that they have professionals for.