Twisted Tree Photography

Twisted Tree Tree Photography at Hawclif Farms
Let’s play a game of, Can You Guess the Applicator? Read on for the answers!

We’re in the thick of another busy farming season. One you may not often hear much about like planting & harvest, but is also important & can make a big difference in how successful the harvest season is & the health of all the crop plants in the field… It’s time for all the pretty green crops you’ve been driving by to get their fungicide & insecticide treatments!

Mid-Season Corn
Mid-Season Soybeans

Think of it like those vitamins you take to build up your immune system. (Especially going into the school year!) These applications help build a strong plant stalk & in some years can make a big difference in how harvest goes. Nobody wants to have to use a reel on their corn head to harvest corn stalks off the ground at 1.5mph! You’ve also likely seen or passed several different kinds of fungicide/insecticide applicators in the last couple of weeks if you live in or near the corn belt.

Spray Application

I’ve been lucky enough to look right out my front door & see almost every kind of applicator over the last 10 days! The only thing I haven’t seen yet this season is a helicopter…but I do have some previous year pictures in my timeline of one landing in our yard to refuel! Such a cool experience!

“Ground rigs” are the most commonly seen & used spray applicators. The only downside is it does require running over part of your crop. And if field conditions are muddy & wet in such that your corn gets too tall before a ground rig can come in to apply fungicide you need a high clearance sprayer. There are many different brands just like other agriculture equipment & these are only 2 of those many brands!

Rogator Sprayer
Rogator Sprayer
Case IH Sprayer (We’re a little partial to red here on our farm.)

Another commonly used method is aerial application by airplane or helicopter. Many of us think of that great Disney movie, Cars, that we all know & love and the later movie in the series, Planes, with the character Dusty Crophopper. So now I will forever say to my family, “Hey look! Dusty Crophopper is outside! Let’s go watch!” I might be easily amused but it’s kind of in my farmer bones to get excited about things like this.

Spray Plane or more commonly known as Crop Duster
Flag, corn, crop duster.. It doesn’t get much more Indiana than this picture. (Other than maybe a basketball goal or Indy car!)

Now a third method, we’re pretty excited about this one… One of the latest innovations in agriculture technology is the use of drone sprayers. These sprayers may hold a lot less capacity at a time but they can make applications without driving over or damaging any crops & get a better & more consistent coverage than other aerial applicators. We felt pretty lucky we got to be on standby to watch, video, & learn how this process all works. Multiple drones can be flown together & this is called a “swarm”. And requires a special type of license or exemption.

Drone Sprayer in Flight
Drone Sprayer flying across a cornfield.
The light trail from a drone flying at night!

Many farmers have their own ground rig spray applicators as they also use them during other seasons on their farm, but not everyone has a high-clearance sprayer. So they still may hire someone else to apply fungicide & insecticide for them during this mid-season time.

Some farms hire this job out entirely through their local co-op or other agricultural retailers that offer these services. And those fine folks can help arrange a plane or helicopter for aerial application if they don’t want anyone driving across their fields & potentially damaging any crop. (That’s mostly just on the ends when turning..all the applicators I know are as careful as possible about this. Many of them have their own farms so they totally get it.)

Drones definitely don’t fall in the category of, “That’s just how we’ve always done it!”

We’re excited to see how the new drone application process shakes out. If this will stick to a few far & in-between businesses offering this service… only 1 so far that I know of in our area. Will the co-ops & main ag retailers hop on board & start offering this service as well? Or if many farms will look into purchasing their own as a part of their operation.

I think it’s important to note that drone licenses, chemical application licenses, (both of which require regular study, in some case classes, & official tests just like getting a regular driver’s license), & a fair amount of legalities come into play & have to be considered as well. Each individual will need to check with their state laws & requirements & follow the necessary legal channels.

We have many, many more photos of all types of these sprayers & videos upon request or on our social media pages. (If you know us this isn’t a real shocker!) You will also soon be able to find these photos & more using our links at the top of the page where we are regular photo contributors to the site – Real Ag Stock. It’s an amazing (& HUGE) stock photography website featuring all things Ag & you can find us directly under brands on the left side of the page.

Or to save you time scrolling here are the direct links to our photos that are currently on the website, with more being added regularly! Don’t forget to check out all the other AMAZING photos from photographers & contributors from all over the United States & even Canada! So much agricultural beauty! Stunning is putting it mildly!

And of course, I have to add one more photo of a sprayer…with my favorite twisted tree.

Twisted Tree Photography at Hawclif Farms

p.s. I can’t make a post about this without a friendly reminder… When at all possible if you come upon 1 of these ground rig machines on the road please pull over into the nearest driveway or off the side of the road as much as possible. Be aware if there is a mailbox or pole directly across from you because that won’t help anyone be able to get on down the road quickly or safely.

If large pieces of equipment have a clear path they can get by you quickly & it’s really less than a minute pause in your driving time. These guys operating the applicators are great at what they do, working a lot of hours in a time crunch, & have families that want them back home safely at the end of the day! I am a huge proponent of the thank a farmer, thank an ag retailer, thank an ag operator, thank a consumer… THANK EVERYONE! But most of all, first and foremost always, THANK OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, GOD.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *