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SWCD cover crop plane ready to fly low over Holmes County

Watch the signature yellow airplanes of Fisher Ag Service zoom across fields at a farm near you as the annual Holmes Soil & Water Conservation District aerial crop cover program kicks into high gear.

Randy McKee

Look, up in the sky, it’s a bird. It’s a plane. It is a … plane.
 
No, Superman will not zip across the skies of Holmes County on Sept. 5, but a site that continues to become more welcome by the year will weave through the local atmosphere.
 
Watch the signature yellow airplanes of Fisher Ag Service zoom across fields at a farm near you as the annual Holmes Soil & Water Conservation District aerial crop cover program kicks into high gear.
 
The goal of the program is to control erosion on corn silage and soybean ground by having a crop (oats, rye or barley) growing over the winter months to keep soil in place. Keeping soil in place also reduces nutrients from getting into waterways.
 
Depending on the weather, farmers sometimes have a hard time getting a cover crop sown before the growing season shuts down. Aerial seeding takes the management out of the equation and guarantees a crop will be seeded.
 
Through a cooperative work agreement with the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District and the Ohio Department of Agriculture, $12/acre cost-share is available to some participants this year in the 18-county MWCD area, based on a score sheet that prioritized acres most likely to erode. 
 
Fisher Ag Service is contracted to provide the service and will fly out of the Holmes County Airport. Approximately 2,500 acres will be seeded aerially, and another 2,460 acres will be drilled later this fall under this program. Holmes SWCD will bring about $52,000 in cost-share to farmers for this important conservation practice.
 
Every year their office receives calls from concerned citizens regarding the plane. The plane is only dropping seed. No herbicide or pesticides are used as part of the program. The pilots fly low over the fields several times for good seed coverage. Fisher Ag Service should be able to complete the program within one to two days if the weather cooperates.
 
For more information call Holmes SWCD at 330-674-2811 ext. 3.
 

Published: September 1, 2017
New Article ID: 2017170839972