We are here today with another Ag Adventure…Aerial Application! This subject is especially close to Bethany’s heart because of her father Kevin. Kevin and Bernadette Morton (Bethany’s rad parents) are the owners of Mid Cal Ag Aviation an aerial application business located in Kerman, CA. Growing up on an airstrip until she was 17, Bethany was taught by her parents the importance of Aerial Application to our ag industry and to our world. They made sure she was educated about Aerial Application so that one day she could be an advocate for an industry that is so often misunderstood. We hope you enjoy as we share a few facts to help you better understand Aerial Application as we embark on this Ag Adventure!
Over the years, the types of planes Kevin has flown has changed, but his love for flying and being an Aerial Applicator never has.
Although Bethany and her Dad look a little different, she is so happy that he and her mom took the time to show her how to appreciate the Aerial Application industry.
Below is a video from the NAAA (National Agriculture Aviation Association) that gives a good introduction of what Aerial Application is all about. Often referred to as “Crop Dusters” this video explains, just like Bethany’s book SOARING, that Aerial Applicators do a lot more than dust crops.
We thought that it would be best to give you some facts about the Aerial Application industry that often get overlooked. Living in a society that often glamorizes organics, we wanted to share about the truths of Aerial Application and how the industry is safely treating the crops that provide the food on our dinner table.
A Few Facts about Aerial Application:
To read further and learn more about Aerial Application click here AgAviation.org is the source for our facts.
- Aerial application is often the safest, fastest and most efficient, and most economical way to get the job done. Aircraft help in treating wet fields and spraying when crop canopies (i.e., orchards) are too thick for ground rigs. When pests or disease threaten a crop, time is critical. An airplane or helicopter can accomplish more in one hour than ground equipment can in one day. This means less fuel used, less air pollution and no soil compaction.
- The world population continues to grow at a fast pace. Today there are 6.6 billion people, but it is estimated there will be just over 9 billion people by the year 2050.World food needs will double, but land area suitable for farming is not increasing. To produce future food, fiber and biofuels and leave room for wildlife, we must increase production on the land we are now using. High-yield agriculture benefits the environment by producing maximum crop yields from a small amount of land.
- All crop protection products must meet tough safety standards. Only one in 20,000 chemicals actually survives the 8–10 year process of development, testing, and registration by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Costs to test a pesticide’s safety can range in price from $160 to $200 million.Nearly 900 scientists and program officials from the EPA make sure that products are properly registered to comply with federal law. Once on the market, they are monitored by the EPA, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and state pesticide enforcement agencies. This stringent regulatory system ensures the safety of our food, the safety of the products to the environment, to water and to the farm workers that mix, load and apply the products.
Do agricultural pilots treat organic crops?
Yes, organic farmers employ the services of aerial applicators. Because organic spraying is preventative, aerial applicators spray organic crops with approved organic pesticides almost daily to prevent any infestations from starting. Like conventional farming, timing is crucial and when spraying needs to be done for organic fields, it needs to be done quickly. According to the National Organic Program (NOP), which is overseen by the USDA, organic crop pests, weeds and diseases must be controlled primarily through management practices including physical, mechanical and biological controls. Also according to the National Organic Program, when these practices are not sufficient, a biological, botanical or synthetic substance approved for use on the ‘National List’ may be used. Substances that may be used include horticulture oils, sulfur, copper, pyrethrum, rotenone, Bt and spinosad.
According to former USDA Secretary Dan Glickman:
“The organic label is a marketing tool. It is not a statement about food safety. Nor is organic a value judgment about nutrition or quality. Organic is about how it is produced. Just because something is labeled as organic does not mean it is superior, safer or healthier than conventional food. All foods in this country must meet the same high standards of safety regardless of their classification. For nutrition information, look at the nutrition label. And as for quality, that is a matter of personal preference.”
And because it is technically Kreative Kids Weekend, we wanted to give you a cool project to do with the kiddos! This is an Aerial Applicator plane made out of candy! This also could be a cool gift along with Bethany’s book, SOARING. Check out the photos below…instruction sheet is ready for download!
Thanks for joining us for our AG ADVENTURE WEEK!!
We hope you learned a lot and will share what you’ve learned!
If you would like more information please contact us at
for more resources to learn further what Agriculture does for our world!
If you get a chance, please join us next week at the
World Ag Expo, Tulare, CA
February 11th, 12th, & 13th
If you do please stop by our booth and say hello!
Thank you from the
PLAY. CREATE. GROW