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Now is Peak Time for Crop Dusting Activity

Posted: Friday, July 30th, 2010 at 6:29 am
Author: KNIA/KRLS News-Eric Gotschall

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Aerial spraying of the state’s crops is in full swing, as crop dusters around Iowa are buzzing over corn and soybean fields. Joel Meyer, President of the Iowa Agricultural Aviation Association, tells KNIA/KRLS News that the planes and helicopters are currently spraying fungicides to battle the wet summer conditions.

Association Executive Director Quintin Childs adds that aerial applicators have been using a more environmentally-safe chemical over the past few years that he says is not harmful to humans or animals. Childs adds that following the application of fungicides, it will soon be time to apply insecticide on the state’s soybeans.

Both men said that while it should not alter people’s daily lives, the public should be aware of the period of high activity for crop dusting, as it is not uncommon for law enforcement agencies to receive numerous reports of low-flying planes during aerial applications.

Though there is not a crop-dusting operation flying out of the Pella Municipal Airport, manager Shane Vandevoort says a few crop dusters have still been making stops in Pella to refuel. With the increased number of pilots spraying crops, there has been an uptick in mishaps as well, with reports of at least two crash landings and people being sprayed by chemicals in locations throughout the state.