Aerial Application of Cover Crops

It’s a bird…’s a plane….it’s a plane dropping seeds from the air!

After postponing the application by one day due to wind, we finally got to witness the first aerial application of cover crops at our farm. It was an exciting morning in our area!  Early this morning Ryan B drove the seed over to the airport where he met the pilot and assisted with the loading.  The seed was a combination of rye grass, crimson clover, and tillage radishes.

Loading plane

It takes a very skilled pilot to be able to precisely measure wind patterns, watch for streaking in the application and avoid power lines! Especially on this particular section of our farm…

loading plane 2

Once we received the text from Ryan that the plane was loaded, it wasn’t long before we heard the plane’s engine approaching the soybean field.  He made several passes at 100 mph.





The seed is applied directly over top of the soybeans.  We are experimenting with this application style and with cover crops in general. The purpose and idea behind cover cropping revolves around soil health. This variety of grasses will ideally put nutrients back into the soil as well as create an ideal grazing pasture once the beans are harvested which in return also adds more organic matter to the soil. It’s a win-win if all goes according to plan!


If you look closely you can actually see the seeds being released into the air in the above photo!  We were pelted with seeds!






The piloted covered 200 acres this morning with the cover crop seed and it took 4 trips to the airport and back to reload. It was seeded at 17 lb per acre with a 41 foot wide pass.


The beans are still several weeks away from harvesting.



The grass seeds cover the ground in between the plants and will begin to take root, Lord willing.


We will keep you updated on the progress of the crops! We look forward to monitoring this investment to see if it will become a continual practice of the farm.

Post any questions you may have below!  Thanks for sharing in this exciting development with us!


Today’s farm experience has been brought to you by,

Britt Farms