Top dressing today is pretty much at the same level as it was pre-Covid, according to the Agricultural Aviation Association (AAA).

However, AAA chair Tony Michelle says that while fertiliser is still being spread on hill properties around the country, there is sense of cautiousness among farmers.

“Everybody I have spoken to in the last few months has said: ‘We’ve got work on’ – although it’s not coming out of their ears,” he told Rural News. “They still have got work and I don’t think there is any significant downturn in the year.”

Michelle says two things that are having an impact on his industry are the current drought and the sale of good farmland to be turned into forestry.

He says while the agricultural aviation industry is surviving moderately well, operators who run an air transport business are struggling more because of Covid and the lack of international tourists.

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