Flying for Your Food and Much More!

Ag Pilots Work Hard to Put Food on the Table—Yours

Our People

Click cover to view full Flying for Your Food brochureFor such a small industry, aerial applicators (a.k.a. agricultural pilots or ag pilots) have an outsized effect on agricultural output. There are approximately 1,560 agricultural aviation businesses in the United States and 3,400 ag pilots. It is a tight-knit industry filled with good, professional, talented people who wholeheartedly believe in what they do. Ag pilots take great satisfaction in knowing that they are participating in something that goes far beyond just flying airplanes and helicopters. Ag pilots use aircraft to aid farmers in producing a safe, affordable and abundant supply of food, fiber and bio-energy for America and the world.

Ag pilots perform many vital tasks such as: Click the “Flying for Your Food” cover to learn more about the many benefits of aerial application.

Flying for Your Food

America is known as the breadbasket of the world for good reason. As the leading exporter of corn, soybeans, wheat and other agricultural staples, America’s farmers are feeding the world.
Approximately 18 percent of the world’s food supply comes from the United States, yet this occurs on only 10 percent of the world’s farmland.

Aerial applicators play a big part in that life-sustaining production because aerial application is often the fastest, most efficient and economical way to protect crops from yield-robbing insects and plant diseases. But farmers and aerial applicators are going to be put to the test in the years to come to keep pace with a growing population.
  • By 2050 there will be 9.74 billion people to feed on the planet. That’s nearly 2 billion more mouths to feed than today.
  • Expanding middle class populations around the world will consume more meats and proteins, which will require growing more crops to feed the livestock needed to meet the increased demand for meat and dairy products.
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations projects the world’s farmers will have to produce 70 percent more calories by 2050, on less land and with less water than they do today.
Click on the images below to learn more about the benefits of aerial application on the following crops.
Wheat Cotton Corn
Potatoes Rice Citrus

For More Information

For more information about the important role that aerial application plays in society, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

To learn more about how aerial application increases crop yields, visit our Yield Benefits page.

To learn more about the environmental benefits of aerial application, visit our Environmental Benefits page.

Watch NAAA’s “Aerial Application’s Growing Role” video below.

Additional Resources

Pesticides and herbicides can be toxic when used improperly in industrial, farming, or other workplace settings. Although vegetables and fruits sometimes contain low levels of these chemicals, overwhelming scientific evidence supports the overall health benefits and cancer-protective effects of eating vegetables and fruits. At this time there is no evidence that residues of pesticides and herbicides at the low doses found in foods increase the risk of cancer. Still, fruits and vegetables should be washed thoroughly before eating, not only to lower exposure to these compounds but also to limit the risk of health effects from germs.