KENANSVILLE — Aug. 3, 2021, will mark a special milestone as we reach 100 years of Agriculture Aviation and remember pioneers such as US Army pilot John Macready, who made the first aerial application during an experimental flight on a Curtiss JN-6 “Super Jenny,” in 1921.

The development of the Huff-Daland Duster “Puffer,” in 1923 ushered a new era in the Agriculture Aviation field leading to decades of innovative developments.

“This year being the 100th anniversary of Aerial Application is a big milestone. From the initial applications of pesticides 100 years ago to the technology that is in today’s aircraft is unbelievable,” said Mike Rivenbark, owner of Moore’s Aerial Applicators .

“The airplanes built today are safer, faster, and able to cover more acres per hour than ever before.”

While the sight of a crop duster flying a few feet off the ground, spraying a crop field while dodging power lines is not unusual, the concept of the daredevil flying it has evolved into much more as aerial application became a specialized field in agriculture. Ag pilots receive extensive agricultural aviation training and must earn a private pilot license, a commercial rating, and a tail-wheel airplane endorsement before they can become a crop duster. They learn about safe pesticide use and entomology among several other aspects like the use of sophisticated GPS systems and spraying tools.

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