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The Saturday Food Chain with Michael Olson- December 14th 2013- THE CROP DUSTER: FLYING IT ON-Are crop dusters now essential to agriculture? Guest: Bert Atwood, Author of "My Father Was A Crop Duster"

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Food Chain Radio Host Michael Olson
            Urban Farming Agriculturalist

Are crop dusters now essential to agriculture?
Guest:  Bert Atwood, Author of My Father Was A Crop Duster

To succeed in the business of farming, one must, to the extent possible, exert control over elements in the environment, among them nutrients and pests.

When one’s farm is small, as farms tended to be in the distant past, control was exerted by the tools in hand, or by the implements pulled by animals.  As technology progressed, and brought forth new control measures like mechanized tractors and chemical fertilizers and pesticides, farms grew larger, and larger, and larger still.

Today, some farms are measured in the tens of thousands of acres.  To exert control to such an extent, many farmers rely on the services of crop dusters.  For a few dollars per acre, these magnificent men, and women, in their flying machines can stop a threatening fungus, kill noxious weeds, and fertilize a hungry crop. 

In fact, crop dusters now make it possible for one farmer to grow a thousand acres of crops without weeds or pests.  This realization leads us to ask…

Are crop dusters now essential to agriculture?

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