Iowa Public Television


Bioterrorism Concerns Ground Crop Dusters

posted on September 28, 2001

In the wake of the September 11 tragedy the nation continues to work its way toward some sort of normalcy.

Leading the way toward that return have been the nation's financial and commodity markets, some operating in the shadow of the site of the New York attack.

After an initial sell-off the markets appear to have stabilized and are now trading the fundamentals of a new economic climate, the inescapable product of the attack.

The government is working even harder on multiple fronts to cope with the new environment. The effect of some of the efforts to combat global terrorism is rippling well into Rural America.


Flying small crop dusting planes has been off and on again twice since the September 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

Last week, Market To Market reported the ban on flying small aircraft was lifted … but over the weekend, the pilots were grounded again due to reports that suspected terrorists possessed information about agricultural aircraft.

While the nation's 3,500 agricultural aviators were able to go back to work on Tuesday … the National Agriculture Aviation Association is still concerned about security. On its Web site, is posted a message from the FBI. It reads:

"Members of the agricultural aviation industry should continue to be vigilant to any suspicious activity relative to the use, training in or acquisition of dangerous chemicals or airborne application of same…"

The National Agricultural Aviation Association says the average pilot protects between $12 (M) million to $15 (M) million dollars in food products each year.


Tags: agriculture airplanes crops news terrorism