Today in History – August 31, 1921 – Lt. John A. Macready performed the first crop dusting flight on a surplus World War I Curtiss JN-6H (Jenny), taking off from McCook Field near Dayton, Ohio. The goal was to attack the Catalpa sphinx moth by dusting an orchard with a load of lead-arsenate from a makeshift metal hopper attached to the Jenny’s fuselage. The maneuver was successful and the moths had been wiped out on that orchard.
Recently, the broad use of pesticides is coming into question due to issues with wildlife, water contamination, energy usage and farm worker exposure. See the February 3 blog on the publication of Rachel Carsons book the Silent Spring.
The Engineering Pathway has a number of resources on pesticides, agricultural engineering, Rachel Carson and environmental ethics. For more educational resources, see our agricultural engineering education community site. The Engineering Pathway also hosts Engineering Education communities in all ABET-accredited disciplines.