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  1. Kevin Sparenberg says

    I had to use a helicopter for the first time in the early 70’s on drilled beans. It didn’t cost much more than using our own sprayer at that time. The helicopter owner was a young Vietnam Vet who was happy to get the work and I think he was also happy no one was shooting at him.

  2. K-Dub says

    I am totally naive on this subject and, yet, completely fascinated by the process. My question is this: since the insecticide is sprayed on the crops that are ultimately fed to your cows…does that have an effect on the milk they produce? Is it harmful to humans as a byproduct down the line? I’m a newcomer to your blog and just interested! 🙂 I can imagine that would be super expensive to have to hire a copter for the job!

    • dairycarrie says

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! My understanding is the insecticide is broke down long before the cows eat the feed it was applied to.

  3. Sephira Briske says

    Are you concerned about some new studies that are suggesting there may be a link between stomach inflammation, enlarged Uteri, or HBS in dairy cows fed GMO crops?

  4. carolyncares says

    Before we transitioned to organic, we used crop dusters to spray our wheat fields. So fascinating to watch! And, like you, I don’t think I would be asking for rides from any of the pilots! Those guys are nuts!
    Wishing warm, sunny days for you so your cow foods can grow well!

  5. Janice Person aka JPlovesCOTTON says

    Lots of people don’t understand that driving across muddy fields doesn’t just mean you may get stuck or make a mess 😉 but it really messes with the soil profile. The compaction and all can wreak havoc on crops! Cool seeing the copter go to work…. I’ve seen them in rice several times.

  6. Barbara says

    While I can only imagine how frustrating/costly/aggravating/awful etc. this experience is…I truly appreciate you sharing it.
    If sending warm, dry thoughts your way would be at all helpful, I would be the first to do so.
    Wouldn’t it be nice if we (as farmers) had Nature working WITH us once in a while? Honestly, it’s the weird weather occurences that make this really hard. (well…weather isn’t the only thing, but this year…it tops the list)
    Best to you, the Hubs and “the girls”!

  7. J. Fandino @ Providentialsystems RC UAS says

    I’m a UAV/UAS developer, and I’m working on a platform that would allow farmers to use our heavy lifting multicopter for spraying their fields. Unfortunately the FAA is still behind schedule on their rule making for commercial operations, so we may have to wait a bit longer for this to happen.

    Meanwhile if you want to take a look at the concept here’s a thread I started at reduser.net (film camera forums)

    http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?119659-quot-Samson-quot-Super-Heavy-Lifting-Multicopter-Platform-%28wip-concept%29

    The multicopter would easily lift 45lbs+ of payload, and fly for over 25 mins. We are working on an even bigger platform for serious lifting capabilities which should be comparable to that of the Yahama RMAX, at a fraction of the cost.

    Out platform will be a very economical alternative to those who’d prefer to spray their fields themselves, so we can’t wait for the FAA to give the green light for commercial applications, specially on something like spraying chemicals using UAS! 😀

  8. Daniel Holton says

    I’m glad you have a post concerning pesticide use on your farm. Too often people know very little about what pesticides are used and why. I think this applies to farmers as well. I have been around pesticide use most of my life, was just helping plant roundup ready soybeans in a roundup ready sprayed field last week.
    That being said I have a lot of questions and am skeptical of many current farming practices. The WHO just listed glyphosate as a probable carcinogen. What would you as a farmer make of this? I know you will probably say something about peer reviewed studies and such, I would too.

    But our current use of this herbacide and others is very troubling to me. Did you know it’s used as a dessicant of cereal crops such as wheat to ripen it? Spray one day, cut the wheat a few days later. I’ve combined thousands of acres of it. Reckon it breaks down between then and becoming a loaf of bread? What about the hold periods of some pesticides? Some are as long as 18 months or two years. Could it be that something that stays in the ground and is effective that long is dangerous for life?
    I have taken the commercial applicators liscense test and the instructor for it told is of pesticides that failed on the market because the sprayer operators couldn’t feel their arms for a couple days, thus refused to use it. These were approved pesticides.
    Perhaps we as farmers should spend some time reflecting on the ‘why’ of things and not so much the ‘how’.

    • dairycarrie says

      As a farmer I also know that WHO has caffeine and several other things I use or consume on an average day listed as probably carcinogens as well. Alcohol is listed even higher as a carcinogen if I remember correctly. So when you stop just looking at the headline and look at the whole picture, it’s not the same picture.

      As far as it being used on cereal crops, you seem to imply that it’s common practice to use it as a desiccant. From my reading and conversations, that is far from the truth and is instead used when harvest conditions aren’t good because of weather. When it is used, does it break down? I’m not sure but I do know that the loaf of bread we buy at the store doesn’t contain any parts of the plant that would have been exposed to the spray.
      I can’t really speak to other pesticides as I’m not a licensed applicator or an agronomist and it’s not an area that I know extensive amounts on.

      • Daniel says

        Thank you Carrie, I appreciate your reply. I am aware that caffeine and alcohol are also listed by WHO as possible carcinogens, the listing of glyphosate is just one that caught my interest because I am around it so much and it’s use is so common. So I have been asking people that use it their reaction.
        Also I wouldn’t say roundups use as a dessicant is common, it’s mainly only used in Montana, North Dakota and Canada where they can get caught by snow/ice/bad weather before harvest is over. (Snowed on the wheat in sep 2014) It’s reccomended that you wait 7 days before harvest post application. I’ve cut it before that, when it was used to kill green weeds that came through.
        Yes it does contact the seed head. how much is absorbed? Couldn’t say.
        I have no interest in debating the health effects of it with you, just interested in your opinion, which you have supplied. Thanks

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