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It’s a Bird, No, It’s a Plane…

Photo Courtesy of Aurora Coop (Dawn Caldwell)
Photo Courtesy of Aurora Coop (Dawn Caldwell)

A Look Into Aurora Cooperative’s Aerial Spraying

If you have been driving down the interstate or maybe just checking out the skyline at home and have noticed that plane coming so very close to the ground, doing some great maneuver work and looking like it is landing right behind that tree bank only to see it reappear on the other side? If you have, you have probably been spotting Aurora Coop and Boardman Aerial Spraying’s Crop Duster Planes.  Watching these planes is mesmerizing.  One cannot help but watch to see just how close to the ground they will seem to get.  So, HeartlandBeat.com took to the sky (well, in a round about way) and caught up with Kenton Schegg of Aurora Coop to see just exactly what the crop spraying is all about.

Q: What exactly does the spraying do and what are they spraying for?

A: Corn is currently being sprayed with fungicide.  Disease on the corn is starting to be detected on what is already there and will show up on the corn to come.  So, with the humidity and heat we have been experiencing, it leads to great conditions for disease to develop in the corn. Plus, with the hot conditions during the day and no cool down at night, the fungicide helps the plant in its respiration at night since the temperature has not dropping below 70 to 80 degrees.  The spraying helps out with the plant health.

Another major factor of spraying the fields is, of course, insects.  The spray rids the crops of some Leaf Miner and Corn Rootworm Beetle.  Spraying will start for soybean fields in about a week to prevent/stop the fungicide and insects.

Q: What is Aurora Coop’s coverage area?

A: The coverage area is York to Utica; also including Henderson, Aurora, Minden, Kearney and all the way out to Grant, NE and the Colorado border.  Additional spray coverage includes Southern Nebraska’s border of Highway 8 to North of Central City, and even going as far north as Loup City, Burwell, and up to Norfolk.

That’s a lot of ground to cover and Aurora Coop does it with it’s 17 planes putting in some serious flight hours.  

Q: What are your Safety Standards of Spraying?

A:  Aurora Coop, along with Boardman Aerial Spraying (owned by Aurora Coop) always make sure that wind conditions are right to be spraying, especially when they are close to town when wind is an obvious issue.  The products used now are immensely safer than what was used in the past.  Also, precautions are always made to make sure that there is not a wind or, if there is a wind, it is directionally correct wind so it never blows the spray toward a house or public arena.  Also, when spraying, Aurora Coop has their pilots run full controls on their machines. So it is an even spread that they can shut off to control the drift. Also, they are capable of forcing the spray straight down to the ground, so it does not linger in the air.

Aurora Coop is on the move, making their way through the sky nowadays.  Time is of the essence for spraying and now is the time. They will continue to be very busy for the next two or three weeks; doing corn through next week.  They will start down south and move soar northbound.  They need to spray within the first week or two of tassle time.

Thank you Kenton Schegg with Aurora Coop for taking the time to educate us on just what happens up there in the sky.

Your AG Professionals



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  1. Nice story, Ava and I sat in our back yard and watched the plane make its turn almost right over our house on Saturday.

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