Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

A crop dusting photo essay August 27, 2013

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Frame 1

I’M NOT NECESSARILY a fan of the end result of crop dusting—some chemical sprayed upon a field with the residue sifting into the air and upon the earth.

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Frame 2

But watching a crop dusting plane at work does fascinate me.

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Frame 3

On a recent Saturday afternoon, while traveling Minnesota Highway 28 en route to Morris, I was entertained by a crop duster spraying a cornfield near Westport.

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Frame 4

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Frame 6

Just ahead of the van in which my husband, son and I were traveling, the plane skimmed across the highway before completing a sharp turn to pass back over the roadway and across acres of corn.

Frame 7

Frame 7: How low do you think this plane is flying?

I am no aviation expert, but it seems to me that special skills and a dose of daredevil courage are required to fly a crop duster.

Frame 8: Just the tip of the plane visible above the cornfield.

Frame 8: Just the tail and wings of the plane visible above the cornfield.


© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


15 Responses to “A crop dusting photo essay”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    I guess the crop dusting is a necessary thing and the pictures are fabulous!! I have observed crop dusting from afar but can’t remember seeing it quite this up close and personal. Very cool!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Yes, necessary, I suppose.

      I had never seen it this close either. I swear had we been directly under that crop duster when it passed over the highway, it would have skimmed the top of our van.

  2. Jackie Says:

    I’m with you Audrey, Fascinated by the precision of man who pilots that plane. I’ve been know to pull over and just watch, sadly I have no pictures, but I sure enjoyed yours!

  3. treadlemusic Says:

    Years ago, we had a friend (in town) that did such flying and he (and wife) belonged to a group called “Clowns for Christ”. Yes, he was comic and a risk-taker. His occupation fit his personality perfectly!!!!

  4. Pretty Cool Captures Audrey – thanks for sharing:) I would think it would be risky to fly that low! Happy Tuesday:)

  5. Marilyn Says:

    It IS very interesting, but personally I’d rather be far away from the residual dust that might be floating all over me and my car.

  6. That same guy flies over the surrounding field here. He takes low pass right over my house! One day I waved and he blew a little smoke at me!

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