Since 8.7 percent of Idaho’s 2012 total industry output came from the agricultural sector, keeping crops healthy and growing is very important to the state’s economy. 

Idaho’s regional and local airports play a key role in the booming agriculture industry by providing air access for aerial applicator pilots—more commonly known as crop dusters.

Crop dusting is a critical part of agricultural operations and supports jobs in Idaho’s aviation industry. Specially-trained pilots fertilize crops and apply treatments from the air to fight plant diseases or fungi. Aerial application allows consistent or concentrated application of fertilizers to maximize crop yields. Agricultural pilots fly closer to the ground than commercial or private pilots do, so they have to be very skilled at maneuvering their equipment. Constant threats to safety include power lines, wind turbines, and unmarked objects.

Crop dusting also supports business developments in the science of agriculture. Scientists are constantly incorporating new understanding of biology and agriculture into the equipment and application process to keep pace with advancing technology.

Businesses in the state deliver upgraded products to support farmers and agriculture in the process of dusting crops with essential fertilizer and treatments. 

By linking the industries of aviation, science, business, and agriculture, crop dusting has a significant impact not only on Idaho’s agricultural production, but also on the state’s economy as a whole.