Originally posted on Facebook

With the heat, humidity and moisture, our crops are going strong and fast. But with optimal growing conditions and fertile soil, comes disease, weeds and insects that can literally wipe out a crop in a matter of just a few days. Our canola had aphids that will eat the growing plant and our lentils had the first signs of aggressive disease pressure.

The window to get into the field to spray our canola and lentils (two of our highest potential earning crops this year) was very tight. It was too wet to get the sprayer in the field since it rained on the weekend and there is rain in the forecast for most of the week.

So we had to call in backup. Aerial application helps farmers apply chemical to kill these aggressive pests when we can’t. Yesterday, both a plane and helicopter helped do that job.

When it comes to applying pesticide, farmers follow strict rules and regulations set out by the manufacturer and government agencies to ensure its effectiveness and safety. We don’t douse our crops. We might have only had a 2-4 day window in order to spray these crops before they would be taken over by disease and insects.

But just because we can spray, doesn’t mean we actually do though. If it’s the right time, with the right weather conditions, the pests/diseases are over a threshold, and at the right cost, we may take action. It costs us money too so we review to see the risk versus reward and crunch numbers (of having some damage and crop/profit loss which may be okay because the cost of applying the chemical is higher than the potential crop loss).

Spraying our crops is just one tool in our tool box and we take that privilege very seriously. Our livelihood and growing safe food is at stake.

My brother took these pictures. My nieces are in the one picture and are pretty proud to have been able to see the helicopter.