This year marks a special milestone for the crop-dusting industry. 2021 is the 100th anniversary of the first crop dusting application.
The first aerial application of a pesticide ever was made on Aug 3 in 1921 as a part of an experiment in Ohio. Sphinx Moth Larvae were destroying catalpa trees. Catalpa trees were being used for railroad ties and poles. A U.S. Army pilot, Lt. John A. Macready, made the successful flight for the experiment in a modified Curtiss JN-6. The first commercial application was made in 1923 by Huff-Daland Dusters Inc.
In the beginning, aerial applications mostly consisted of dry chemicals which earned the pilots and planes the nickname “crop dusters.” Today’s applications consist of mostly liquid products.
Many original crop-dusting planes were modified surplus war planes and were relatively cheap. As time went on and the industry grew, planes were developed specifically for purpose of aerial application. A plane now can run a cost of one million dollars or more depending on the technology built into the plane.
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