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Why do they allow farmers to spray their crops by airplane?

Aerial application of spraying is done by licensed applicators following Ohio Pesticide Applicator Rules and Guidelines and product label requirements.  The materials that can be aerial sprayed and the times and conditions under which they may be sprayed are tightly controlled.  Aerial spraying is sometimes necessary in wet seasons when farmers cannot get into the fields.  Because of better coverage, aerial product rates can sometimes be less than ground application, resulting in less total overall chemical use.  Some aerial applications are made to seed cover crops in growing crops, at times when ground equipment can’t go through them.  Aerial applications can reduce soil compaction due to less equipment traffic on a field, resulting in less surface runoff from fields.  Aerial application is an important agricultural management tool, and is not done indiscriminately, or without regulation.  For more information contact your state’s Department of Agriculture.

Steve Davis, USDA – NRCS