You may have noticed an unconventional way of planting beans in Bond County recently. Atlantic Ag Aviation, based in Greenville, plants beans from an airplane, primarily in fields that aren’t easy accessible with a tractor. Sherry Schaefer served as part of their ground crew and told us about the process.
“You just load the airplane – there’s a hopper on the top of the airplane – and you load it with beans and you can put enough in there to do about 50 acres,” Schaefer said. “You go out and just fly over the field. It’s probably a 60-foot swath you can do with the beans. With the GPS on the airplane you can mark your swaths off as you apply them.”
“The higher you fly the harder the bean will hit the ground so you hope it embeds a little bit, but most of the time they just stay on top of the ground and shoot a sprout off and eventually take root.”
Schaefer said the crew checked the beans after a few days, and they were swelled up and shooting sprout off. She said this is her second year helping the crew that provides fertilization and seeding from the air.