April 12, 2018
NAAA eNewsletter

China Imposes Tariffs on Various Ag Commodities, Possibly Soybeans

In response to the Trump Administration’s tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, China said it would consider levying an additional 25 percent levy tariff on around $50 billion of U.S. imports including soybeans, automobiles, chemicals and aircraft. This is in addition to a 15 percent tariff already  applied to various types of fruits, nuts, and wine with a 25 percent tariff placed on pork products.  

China is the second largest purchaser of U.S. farm goods. Additionally, the U.S. shipped more than $1 billion in pork products to China last year, making it the No. 3 destination for exports after Japan and Mexico. The Chinese government issued a statement saying it was imposing the duties "in order to safeguard China's interests and balance the losses caused by" the steel and aluminum tariffs, which took effect late last month.

Roughly 62 percent of U.S. soybean exports go to China, more than $12 billion a year according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Less than 1 percent of U.S. corn exports go to China.

A study from Purdue University found that tariffs could cut U.S. soybean exports by as much as 71 percent. The study was commissioned by the U.S. Soybean Export Council and modeled the effects of Chinese tariffs ranging from 10 percent to 30 percent. A more modest 10 percent tariff would cause exports to drop by 33 percent, leading to an 18 percent decline in total soybean exports, the study found.

U.S. soybean production is near record levels, with farmers forecasted for the first time in decades to plant more soybeans by acreage compared to acres of corn, according to the USDA.  

The implementation date of China’s retaliatory tariffs depends on the outcome of bilateral negotiations, and the U.S. decisions, Deputy Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao told reporters after a news conference in Beijing. “We believe both countries have the ability and wisdom to address the problem,” Zhu said.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said China’s response isn’t expected to disrupt the U.S. economy. In an interview on CNBC on Wednesday, he said China’s reaction “shouldn’t surprise anyone,” as it’s proportionate to the U.S. action. He said the U.S. isn’t entering “World War III" and left the door open for a negotiated solution.

Wind Locked LLC Working to Protect Property Rights and Aerial Applicators from Wind Turbines


In early 2017, a group of landowners in southern Minnesota grew concerned over the potential proliferation of wind turbines in their community. These residents felt these projects were unsafe and an inappropriate use of land rights, privacy and federal tax subsidies. These landowners formed Wind Locked LLC to prevent the unsafe construction and operation of large industrial wind towers.


In Minnesota, wind rights are separate from land rights, so Wind Locked acquires and holds wind easement rights for conservation and environmental purposes. Once Wind Locked acquires the wind rights, it allows them to protect, preserve and manage the airspace effectively in that area. Wind Locked does not restrict private wind generators used for individual power generation, but rather focuses on larger industrial projects. They educate landowners on wind turbines and how the fine print in contracts with wind companies can end up costing landowners money.   


The current president of Wind Locked is Carolyn Zierke, an agronomist who has worked in southern Minnesota for over 20 years. She decided to get involved with wind rights when she saw developers taking advantage of land owners who were lured into partnering by signing contracts for quick cash. “I got involved with wind because I was tired of seeing how the other side takes advantage of landowners, and they had no concern for rural residents, the land or aerial applicators,” Zierke said.


Wind Locked’s latest education effort is their “Keep ’em Flying” campaign, designed to protect eagles, bats and aerial applicators. In August 2016 an experienced ag pilot tragically died in southwest Minnesota where turbines are abundant. The aircraft struck a wire attached to a tower that monitored wind conditions for nearby turbines.


“We want pilots to do their job effectively and safely. The members of Wind Locked are proud of their productive land, record crops and quiet rural homes just as the aerial pilots are proud of their planes, airspace, families and jobs protecting customers crops,” Zierke said.


Wind Locked is an all-volunteer organization, with a board of directors elected by its members. Members of the board are all involved in local agricultural work and own homes and/or farms in the area. “They all also have children, sports, farming and community events they juggle. We are all people that want to retain all our land rights to plant a tree or put up a grain leg or hunt on our land when we want to without asking permission. These are all investments we value and do not want someone else’s asset attached to our land, or impeding our airspace in our backyard,” said Zieke. “The passion drives us. We are doing this for our neighbors, our families and for future generations who want to live and farm in an Ag/residential Zone and not an Industrial Zone.”


To get started, Wind Locked reached out to the Iowa Coalition for Rural Property Rights, a group that was formed to protect against the encroachment of wind installations. By connecting via Facebook, they were able to discuss their shared challenges. “Social media is connecting us across the country; Facebook and Twitter have made our group stronger” said Zierke. 


Wind Locked has also helped a group in a different part of Minnesota set up their own LLC called Wesner Grove Wind Locked to educate landowners on what wind leases actually mean for them, and protect their own area by holding the local wind rights.


When asked what advice Zieke would give to other groups that rely heavily on volunteers for them to operate successfully, she said, “Organize and stay tight as a group. Set up a Facebook Group. Stay informed and meet often and keep an upbeat attitude. Something that is emotionally draining and close to home can take its toll; support each other and keep driving your mission.”


NAAA started its wind tower safety education campaign in 2010 to ensure that farmers are fully informed before making decisions about wind energy development. NAAA most recently developed “Learn Before You Lease” ads that encourage landowners and growers to consider all the facts and potential ramifications before they lease their property to a wind energy entity. Part of this education campaign includes informing landowners of the potential liability that comes with the construction of wind turbines, considering the widow of an ag pilot in California was awarded a $6.7 million settlement after her husband struck a metrological evaluation tower resulting in his death.


To find out more about Wind Locked, you can go to its website at www.windlocked.com or Twitter page, @windlockedllc.

In Memoriam: Nancy Snow, Widow of Air Tractor Founder Leland Snow, Passes

NAAA is saddened to report the passing of Nancy Snow, widow of Air Tractor Inc. founder Leland Snow. Nancy passed away March 28 in Wichita Falls, Texas. She was 77. She spent the last hours of her life at House of Hope in a colorful room, decorated with her own art and filled with the sounds of the music she loved, surrounded by family, friends and caregivers.


A celebration of Nancy’s life will be held on her birthday, April 8, at the Wichita Falls Museum of Art from 2 to 4 p.m., with a short memorial presentation at 3:15 p.m. Guests are encouraged to wear their brightest colors and join family and friends in sharing memories, music, art and the color of Nancy’s life.


Nancy Lynn Bacon was born on April 8, 1940, to the late Charles Raymond Bacon and Doris Afton Gilkerson Bacon in Lubbock, Texas. At an early age she developed a love of dance, music, and art. Nancy graduated from Texas Tech University, earning a bachelor’s degree in fine art.


She married Leland Snow on Dec. 18, 1964, in Lubbock, and they made their home in Wichita Falls, where they raised two daughters, Kristin and Kara. They were married 46 years until Leland’s death Feb. 20, 2011. Nancy was a devoted and supportive wife to Leland, who founded Air Tractor in Olney, Texas. He dedicated his 2008 autobiography, “Putting Dreams to Flight” to her, where he wrote, “Her unwavering support, understanding and patience have been leading factors in making our success possible.”


Throughout her life, Nancy pursued many interests including teaching and playing the guitar and singing, taking art classes, traveling and many other creative pursuits. She also had a lifelong desire to study the Bible and learn God’s word. She was a member of Rephidim Church in Wichita Falls.


Those who knew Nancy well would describe her as loving, genuine and creative. But these words merely scratched the surface of her magnetic personality. From her bright, infectious smile, to the vibrant colors of her carefully crafted outfits, Nancy could light up any room with her presence. She was a brilliant artist and talented musician, but perhaps her greatest work of art was the beautiful family that she loved deeply.


Survivors include two daughters, Kristin Edwards and Kara East, son-in-law Trevor Edwards, grandchildren Brennan Edwards and Elisabeth East, all of Wichita Falls; one brother, John Bacon and wife, Patricia, of Lubbock; four nephews, John Charles Bacon Jr. and wife, Paige, of Fort Worth, Texas, John Franklin Bacon of Lawrence, Kan., Conan McCarty of New York City, and Kevin McCarty of Pomona, Calif. She was preceded in death by her husband, Leland, brother-in-law Edward Snow, sister-in-law Marihelen Snow, nephew Kim McCarty, niece Lauren McCarty, and son-in-law Alan East.


In lieu of flowers, Kristin and Trevor request that donations be made to Bethel Bible Church of Wichita Falls (bbcwf.org), a fledgling church of which they are members. Memorials may also be made in Nancy Snow’s honor with Hospice of Wichita Falls and House of Hope.




California Crash Fatal to Ag Pilot

We mourn the recent loss of ag pilot Tyler Haymore. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, including his wife Kelly, friends and co-workers during this difficult time.


Tyler Haymore, 29, of Yuba City, Calif., lost his life while spraying in an Ag Cat near Stockton, Calif. on March 27, 2018. According to reports, the aircraft’s top wing struck a cross-country transmission powerline prior to impacting the ground. Haymore was a pilot for Haley Flying Service of Tracy, Calif.


Services will be held for him on Saturday, April 7, 2018 at 11 AM at:


Hope Point Nazarene
600 N. George Washington Blvd
Yuba City, CA 95993


Flowers may be sent to:

Ullrey Memorial Chapel
817 Almond Street
Yuba City, CA 95991


In lieu of flowers or memorials, Tyler’s wife, Kelly and the family are developing a fund titled the Tyler Haymore Memorial Scholarship Fund to continue Tyler’s legacy of spreading smiles and helping do better. While the fund is being developed, the family asks that donations be made through YouCaring.com toward this fund. Click here for more information and to donate.



NAAA 2018 Industry Survey – Ending in a Few Weeks – Don’t Miss Participating

The NAAA 2018 Industry Survey is well underway and will be closing at the end of April. Please make sure you complete the survey now so your information can be used to accurately summarize the agricultural aviation industry. If you have completed the survey, thanks! If you have not received a chance to fill in the survey, please contact Ken Degg at kdegg@agaviation.org as soon as possible and we will send you the link. It’s critically important to our industry that we get 100 more Operators to respond to this survey. Your help is needed!


NAAA has teamed with survey scientist Tim Struttmann, MSPH, who successfully conducted the 2012 survey, to assist with collecting the requested data. Individual responses will be kept confidential. NAAA, Struttmann and his team have entered into confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements to protect the privacy of the data collected.


If you have started the survey but did not have time to complete it, it is not too late. If you click on the link in the email invitation again, the survey will begin right at the place you left off. This makes it convenient to finish the survey without having to start over. If you come to questions for which you might need to look up some business information in order to answer accurately, you can immediately return to those questions and pick up where you left off. If you have heard about the survey but have not received an email invitation to participate, be sure to check your spam folder for the email address you have on file with NAAA. The email invitation to the survey may have accidently ended up in the spam folder.


In January the first mailing of invitations to participate in the NAAA 2018 Industry Survey of Part 137 Operators and Pilots was sent out by US Mail. The letters were sent to all holders of Part 137 certificates on the FAA’s list of certificate holders. Following these letters, all pilots and operators for which NAAA has an email address should have received an email requesting they participate in the online survey. When responding to the email notification, simply click on the link included in the email and begin the survey.


If you completed the survey based on the invitation from the letter sent out by US Mail, you may still receive an email inviting you to participate. This is because two separate databases, one from the FAA and one from NAAA, were used to create the invitations in an effort to reach every ag aviator possible. If you were on the FAA’s list of Part 137 certificate holders and NAAA had an email address for you, you will receive an invitation to complete the survey in both letter and email formats. If you completed the survey based on the letter and then received the email, and additional emails indicating you have not yet participated, you can ignore those emails. You are receiving them because the system cannot track who responded based on the letter.


The survey is made up of two separate sets of questions depending on whether you are an Operator or Pilot. The response to the first question asking if you are an owner/operator of a business that holds a part 137 certificate will direct you to the proper set of questions. Operators should answer for the entire operation, and pilots should answer based on the aircraft they usually fly. The survey is web-based on a secure website.


Many of the questions used in the 2018 survey are the same as those used in the 2012 survey. This allows NAAA to track changes in the industry, which is beneficial for showing the adoption of technologies and techniques that improve accuracy and safety. As an example, recently the EPA has accepted that GPS is the dominant means of swath guidance in agricultural aviation and that human flaggers are seldom used. The questions on acres treated by type of crop are critical for demonstrating the importance of aerial application in protecting these crops. This information is especially important as EPA goes through their registration review process. We need to show how important aerial application is for applying crop protection products, and the data from this survey is the only method we have of collecting that information.


Completing the survey shouldn't take long—roughly 20 minutes. Remember, the value of this survey is only as strong as the type of information you submit and the number of completed surveys we can collect. The value of the survey results can be substantial. Oftentimes we have used the real industry survey data to counter EPA theoretical overestimates of risk made about our industry which has resulted in saving aerial labels on crop protection products and preventing restrictions on aerial labels on crop protection products. Trends indicate a large number in the industry are using closed contained mixing/loading systems and GPS to minimize worker exposure. Trends also indicate that a large number in the industry are using smokers to gauge wind direction. This is the type of information we need to show the EPA.


EPA will not give much credibility to the data we collect if only 3 percent of U.S. operators submit a survey; however, if we have a 95 percent industry response rate, it adds significant credibility to the data we collected.


If you are an ag pilot or operator and do not receive an invitation or have any problems completing the survey, please email NAAA’s contractor, Tim Struttmann, at tim.struttmann09@gmail.com.

Exhibitor Details for the 2018 Ag Aviation Expo

Believe it or not, we are beginning to design the trade show floor for the 2018 Ag Aviation Expo in Reno, NV, Dec. 3–6. Experience a new Reno, this rapidly changing city has become ground zero for a new technology boom as many companies have moved to Reno, including Tesla, Apple Cloud, a division of Microsoft and many more. Because of this, the city has also seen a boom in amazing restaurants, microbreweries and bar, shopping and nightclubs. Having a new vibrancy all its own, Reno is a cool and fun place to hang out.

The NAAA Trade Show will take place Dec. 4 from 12 p.m.–5:30 p.m. (Live Auction will begin on the trade show floor at 5:30 p.m.) and Dec. 5 from 10 a.m.–4 p.m.  The booth and aircraft fees for this year’s Ag Aviation Expo will remain the same as last year’s rates.

Booth Sales for Aircraft & Large Booth Space: If you plan to bring an aircraft, need a 20x20 island booth or larger, or need a 10x30 inline booth or larger, please contact Lindsay Barber ASAP. To ensure the best placement on the trade show floor, we appreciate knowing about aircraft and large booth spaces by mid-April. We currently have seven confirmed aircraft for the NAAA Trade Show.

Booth Sales for 10x10 and 10x20 Spaces will begin on Thursday, July 12.

Additional details for the 2018 NAAA Ag Aviation Expo

  • Dates: Dec. 3-6, 2018
  • Location: Atlantis Casino Resort Spa and Reno-Sparks Convention Center
  • Schedule of Events: Current schedule here. Subject to change.
  • Hotel: Hotel Details Below
  • Attendee Registration: Will open in July
  • Exhibitor Booth Sales: Will open on Thursday, July 12 for 10x10 and 10x20 spaces. Email Lindsay if you’d like a large booth space (aircraft, island or 10x30+) or plan to be a Diamond or Platinum sponsor.
  • Sponsorship Opportunities: Will be available soon. Please email Lindsay if you would like to secure a sponsorship from last year or if you would like to be contacted about 2018 opportunities! We offer sponsorships for all budget sizes. 
  • Auction Donations: Thank you to Pratt & Whitney Canada for their donation of a PT6-34AG Engine to this year’s NAAA Live Auction. While we’re still several months away from the Ag Aviation Expo, but it’s never too early to donate an item for the Live and Silent Auction. The earlier you inform us of your auction donation, the more advertising you’ll receive on the NAAA website and in NAAA publications. Support the aerial application industry by donating an item today. Email Lindsay with your donation details.

Book Your Hotel Room

Atlantis Casino Resort Spa is a world-class, Four Diamond resort destination. A splendid oasis created for relaxation, celebration and rejuvenation, the Atlantis has always been a favorite resort destination for travelers near and far. Recognized for luxurious accommodations, a world class revitalizing spa and salon, award-winning dining and fun casino action.

Atlantis Casino Resort Spa

  • Rate: $109/night + taxes (NAAA has negotiated to waive the resort fee. Included in your room rate is complimentary in room Wi-Fi or wired internet, self-parking, use of fitness center, use of indoor pool, extended check out time of 12 p.m. and complimentary airport shuttle service)
  • Reservations: Book Online Here or call (800) 723-6500 and reference the NAAA Convention (SNAA18)
  • Block Deadline: Monday, Nov. 12
  • Hotel Address: 3800 S. Virginia St. Reno, NV 89502
  • Airport Shuttle: Atlantis provides a free airport shuttle that runs at 15 and 45 minutes after the hour from 5:15 a.m. to 12:45 a.m. leaving the airport. The shuttle leaves the hotel on the hour and 30 minutes after the hour from 5 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.


NOTE: No one from (or on behalf of) any of the hotels or NAAA, will contact you to book a hotel room. NAAA recommends that you make your own hotel reservations using the information on this page. Do not book a room with any company that calls you directly.

Help NAAA Respond to EPA (Re)Registration Review Documents

NAAA is constantly monitoring the Federal Register for pesticide (re)registration notifications from the EPA. The Federal Insecticide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) requires the EPA to review the registration of each pesticide every 15 years to ensure that they are still safe to use. Research conducted between the last registration review and the current one is assessed to determine if the product should be registered again, and if so, are there any changes that need to me made to the label, such as uses, personal protective equipment, or drift mitigation strategies. NAAA works to ensure aerial application remains an option on the products that are already labeled for aerial application, and the label requirements remain realistic and not overly burdensome.


Many of the pesticides up for registration review are familiar, and NAAA staff are able to offer comments without a great deal of input from members. On occasion though, a product may be up for review that is unfamiliar. In some cases, a product may be familiar but certain uses, such as on specialty crops, may be unknown to NAAA staff. For instance, a (re)registration review interim decision recently submitted by the EPA recommended that aerial applications be prohibited by the label. The reasoning from the EPA was that there was a human hazard risk associated with mixing many loads of the product, and they had been erroneously told by the manufacturer that the product was never applied via aerial application. Input from members familiar with its usage helped respond to the EPA to let them know that the product was applied by air for certain crops.


In certain situations, such as when a product’s usage by air might be limited to specialized crops or when the pesticide is unfamiliar to staff, input from NAAA members is invaluable. NAAA is putting together a list of members to contact based on crops those people are familiar with making applications to. These individuals will be contacted by email when necessary to determine use patterns for pesticides that are up for registration review. The goal is to create a network of people that can assist NAAA when needed so that any registration documents warranting comments are handled appropriately. If you are interested in being on this list, please email Scott Bretthauer at Sbretthauer@agaviation.org with your name, email address, and the crop for which you wish to provide expertise on.