August 3, 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of an experiment in Ohio when lead arsenate dust was spread over catalpa trees to kill sphinx moth larvae. Under the direction of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Lt. John A. Macready, a U.S. Army pilot, made the first application by aircraft with a modified Curtiss JN-6 “Super Jenny.” The government then utilized aerial application in the Southern states. In 1922, Curtiss biplanes were used to dust cotton fields near Tallulah, LA, to control bollweevils. In 1923, Huff-Daland Dusters, Inc.—the forerunner of Delta Airlines—did the first commercial dusting of crops with its own specially built aircraft.
NAAA is planning a major campaign to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first aerial application flight and the aerial application industry. This includes a short documentary, a complete history book of the industry and a significant outreach campaign to the public and the media. Our industry has a great story to tell. It plays a crucial role in helping farmers feed, clothe and provide bio-fuel to the world. It has evolved remarkably in ten decades. As such we continue to grow as an industry today. Our story is the kind of positive lead that can really help broadcast our industry’s image with the world-at-large.
(*From the NAAA website)