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Crop Dusters Group Sees Early Fall Seeding in the Cards

Autumnal Applicators Making Seed Drops in Turn from Usual Sprays

The National Agricultural Aviation Association shined a light on the increasing use of airborne seeding services among the usual crop dusting community, as airdropping cover crops gains popularity.

The crops - generally grasses, grains, and particularly suited strains of legumes - allow farmers to help enhance the soil quality of certain fields while enjoying a low-maintenance, simple planting process. Hardy top cover breeds can help to rejuvenate tired soils by rotation, rehydrate the ground, recycle nutrients, and add fresh organic matter to the ground below them. Aerial seeding has made an impressive dent in the amount of work needed to plant them. The NAAA says that the method is gaining in popularity, which makes sense given the seemingly warm fall this year.

“Quick growing cover crops hold soil in place, protect against erosion from wind, rainfall and snowmelt,” said Andrew D. Moore, chief executive officer of NAAA. “By slowing erosion and run-off, this in turn helps protect water quality by reducing sediment in streams, rivers, and lakes.”

While planting seeds has largely been squared away 6 ways from Sunday over the years, aerial application allows for a very hands-off approach to planting. With cash crops planted further down beneath the soil, use of an aircraft precludes the need for any large, heavy farm equipment to roll over the land below, minimizing disruption to profitable farming and allowing for optimal timing for the application of both crops. The NAAA sees particular growth in the northern regions of the continental US, where the first frost of the year can harm cover crop growth if they're planted late enough to ensure the cash crop's survivability.



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