How aerial seeding helps prevent phosphorus runoff

Published: Sep. 1, 2017 at 12:02 PM EDT
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Taking to the skies to help prevent runoff-- a helicopter took flight in Franklin County Friday morning at Pleasant Valley Farm. The mission: plant hundreds of acres of winter rye.

The plant protects the soil from eroding and keeps nutrients in the soil.

Pilot Gene Kritter of Kritter Cropdusting explained how it's done: "We'll just go ahead and make more passes. That typically would be time to go back to the truck. After you get one long pass like that. When we can get close to the field, we'll do about two to two-and-a-half-minute round trips. So coming down this edge, what I'll do is I'll forget about my grid and just paint in the edge and I'll look out the window to see that my seed is hitting the edge of the field."

The USDA in Vermont says last year, cover crops helped prevent 500 pounds of phosphorus runoff in the nearby Pike River area and another 400 pounds in the Rock River area.

Watch the video for a look at how it's done.