Crop-dusting planes were in the skies over Allegan and Ottawa counties earlier this week, providing an exciting show of aerial acrobatics. However, they were not dropping chemicals on growing crops as one would assume.

Instead, they were sowing seeds into fields of growing corn and soybeans for a cover crop, which will eventually create a sort of “blanket” for the soil. This blanket helps keep soil and contaminating molecules that attach to soil particles — like phosphorus — in place on the fields where they belong, and out of lakes and streams.

Now is the ideal time to plant this soil blanket to take advantage of sunlight before days get much shorter.

Dragging heavy planting equipment behind a tractor through crops entering their final growth stages, just before harvest, would spell disaster for the crop. But crop-dusting planes, guided by a skilled pilot, can drop seeds into fields that will work their way into the ground, encouraged by late summer breezes and gentle rains.

More than 600 acres were seeded in the two counties this week alone. Kent and Muskegon counties combined saw an additional 900 acres of aerial seeding in the same operation.

Read more at The Lakeshore West Michigan