Aerial Topdressing revolutionised hill country farming since the early 1950's, where erosion and limitations on application saw large areas of NZ hill country become unproductive and soil disappeared into the creeks and rivers.
Starting off with war-surplus Tiger Moths, the industry grew steadily until the mid 1980's, Fletcher, Beaver and Cessna aircraft being the stalwarts of the industry for many years until the early 2000's when turbine powered aircraft become the standard.
The RAC purchased their first turbine aircraft in 1997 and these aircraft have proved cost effective and reliable.
Application rates from as low as 40 kg/ha for nitrogen and hi-analysis up to several tonne/ha for lime are possible, achieved by the variable rate application hopper system and GPS, with high ferry speeds allowing widespread use of centralised airstrips.
A cost-effective method of applying pesticides to pasture and crops throughout NZ, RAC has aircraft set up for seasonal spraying, specialising in the eradication of Porina moth and thistles.
Use of a number of centrally located airstrips with a water-source allow flexibility to apply product to pasture when timeframes are critical