Ag Pilots Work Hard to Put Food on the Table—Yours
Our People Click to enlargeFor such a small industry, aerial applicators (a.k.a. agricultural pilots or ag pilots) have an outsized effect on agricultural output. There are approximately 1,350 agricultural aviation businesses in the United States and 2,700 ag pilots. It is a tight-knit industry filled with good, professional, talented people who wholeheartedly believe in what they do. Ag pilots take great satisfaction in knowing that they are participating in something that goes far beyond just flying airplanes and helicopters. Ag pilots use aircraft to aid farmers in producing a safe, affordable and abundant supply of food, fiber and biofuel for America and the world.
Ag pilots perform many vital tasks such as:
- Seeding crops and/or cover crops
- Fertilizing crops, rangeland, and/or forests
- Protecting crops with disease control products
- Performing public health spraying to control mosquitoes that carry West Nile and Zika viruses, encephalitis and other harmful diseases
- Forestry seeding, fertilizing and protection
- Aerial firefighting
- Weed mitigation
Flying for Your Food
America is known as the breadbasket of the world for good reason. As the leading exporter of corn, soybeans, wheat and other agricultural staples, America’s farmers are feeding the world. Approximately 18 percent of the world’s food supply comes from the United States, yet this occurs on only 10 percent of the world’s farmland.
Aerial applicators play a big part in that life-sustaining production because aerial application is often the fastest, most efficient and economical way to protect crops from yield-robbing insects and plant diseases. But farmers and aerial applicators are going to be put to the test in the years to come to keep pace with a growing population.
- By 2050 there will be 9.6 billion people to feed on the planet. That’s 2.2 billion more mouths to feed than today.
- Expanding middle class populations around the world will consume more meats and proteins, which will require growing more crops to feed the livestock needed to meet the increased demand for meat and dairy products.
- The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations projects the world’s farmers will have to produce 70 percent more calories by 2050, on less land and with less water than they do today.
Click here to read more and learn about the benefits of aerial application on many field crops.