Crop dusting businesses seeing increased workloadWilkin County, MN (WDAY TV) - All our rain is making for a booming business in the sky. Farmers are finding it hard to even get in to the wet fields. So, what's the alternative? Crop dusting planes. One business is seeking the help of pilots from all over the country to keep up.
All our rain is making for a booming business in the sky. Farmers are finding it hard to even get in to the wet fields. So, what's the alternative? Crop dusting planes. One business is seeking the help of pilots from all over the country to keep up.
Perfect weather conditions, if you farm rice patties. But around here, its beets, beans and corn for farmers like Vance Johnson and its just to wet for farm.
Vance Johnson – Wilkin County Farmer: "It’s frustrating, it would be nice just to see it stop and let things carry on the way they should."
There isn't a piece of machinery Johnson has that could get in to his fields as wet as it is. So that’s where Eric Klindt and his plane come in....
Eric Kilndt – Crop Dusting Pilot: "The only break we've had is when its raining and then your back to work"
The demand for crop dusting is higher than its been in years because of our wicked wet weather.
Here at Wilbur Ellis aviation in Wahpeton, pilots do well over 20-flights a day.
Eric Klindt: "This is ridiculous. I've seen it this wet as it is out there now, but it just stays wet."
So busy, the company hired a pilot and his plane from Texas to help spray. Today they're running two planes But this summer they have had up to 5-planes in the air at one time spraying.
Ken Packer – Wilbur Ellis Air: "Everybody's busy. There haven’t been any free airplanes. You got to go a long way to find them."
No doubt we get wet spells every summer, but because the rain has been so wide spread and the ground is so saturated, there's no place for it to go. What started as a good crop, now seems stagnant.
Vance Johnson: "As wet as it is you can sit and watch the beets go backwards everyday. Everything else seems to be maintaining."
As the rain continues to fall, pilots like Eric Klindt will keep logging the flight time.
The company says it usually has slow weeks during the summer. But since May pilots have been constantly busy.