Low Flying Aircraft

An increasing phenomena in Iowa during August has been aerial applied fungicide.  Which means super low flying airplanes and helicopters spraying fungicide on farm fields.  Just yesterday an airplane flew right over us as we were driving.  We used to rush outside when we heard the telltale rumble of a low flying plane to see what in the heck was going on, now it’s old news.  Although it is still fascinating to watch when they are nearby.

Flying unbelievably fast and low!

Fungicide has become more common in recent years for a few reasons.  Planting corn in the same field year after year increases the chances of corn developing a fungal disease.  Some hybrids (or varieties) of corn are also more susceptible.    The weather plays a big role in our decision making process as well.  This year has been incredibly wet and hot…perfect conditions for the corn to develop fungus.  Finally, of course, the checkbook has to allow for it, and this year we had a little bit of credit left over at the co-op so we decided to use it on our fields that were being the most affected by fungal disease.

This was the coolest part. The helicopter actually lands on the truck to refill with fungicide and water.

Since the corn is now way too tall to drive a sprayer through, the only option left to apply the fungicide is by plane or helicopter.  Last week, we had a few of our fields treated with a helicopter.  It is pretty cool to watch, they fly along at about 85 mph, just above the corn, lifting up just in time at the end of the field to avoid power lines.  Here are a couple links to the videos I shot of the helicopter that sprayed our fields :

Helicopter Spraying Fungicide on Corn

Helicopter Taking Off


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Wayne Nieman on August 2, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    Is this like getting “high” on ethanol?

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