A dozen years ago, if someone told me they were flying to create good cover for the field, we would have been talking about fighter pilots protecting troops on the ground. Well, it’s not exactly warfare, but after hearing one of Chuck’s interviews with some folks on the Indian Creek Watershed Project Field Tour, now that phrase means using aerial application of seeds for cover crops.
“Typically your crops will [still] be out in the field, and we need to get the seed out there,” said Eric Smith, a pilot with Pontiac Flying Service and a northern Illinois family farmer who presented at one of the tour stops looking at the benefit of cover crops, such as tillage radish or rye grass. Smith explained in his part of the country, they are applying the cover crop seed in mid-August to mid-September, when the corn is already pretty tall. The aerial application allows for a nice, even distribution of seed, and the resulting cover crop doesn’t interfere with harvest. In fact, he says some farmers have even told him it actually helps by cutting down on dust.
Check out Chuck’s interview with Eric here: Interview with Eric Smith, Pontiac Flying ServiceAgWired coverage of the CTIC Indian Creek Watershed Field Tour is sponsored by AGROTAIN