Cherry Drying

Protect your crop with the cost effecient Schweizer 300C.  It is an excellent platform for cherry drying operations due to its high maneuverability, power and cost efficiency.

The Schweizer 300C's  3 bladed rotor system allows a helicopter that weighs just a few pounds less than the R-44 to operate in tighter confines.  This means it has the drying force equivalent to a larger sized R-44, with a smaller rotor diameter.  This allows the pilot to operate safely in the orchard environment, avoiding wires, trees, fans, and any other obstacles on the farm. The Schweizer 300C can dry up to 80-100 acres an hour, making it a very cost effective option for you.

We have years of incident free experience drying cherries in all areas of Central Washington, from as far north as Oroville and as south as the Tri-Cities.  Rates are negotiable on either standby/hourly basis, on call, or acre based.  Contact us to protect your cherries!



Frost Protection

Over the years, frost has cost southern farmers millions of dollars in crop damage.Atomic Helicopters can help you save your crops from frost. By slowly sweeping over your crops stirring the warmer air layered above the crops, we can help save your fields from economic loss.<

Helicopters are usually effective for frost protection for up to 50 acres at a time. If your crops are your livelihood and damage to them could mean the loss of your income for the year, helicopter frost protection may be an option for you to consider.

Weather conditions will dictate whether or not a helicopter can be effective for frost protection. Cold, windless nights when the radiant heat loss and warmer layering of air above, and colder air near the surface of the ground, cause the frost to settle on the crops are the conditions that a helicopter can help provide protection. A helicopter is not effective on windy nights or for a hard freeze.

If you have questions, feel free to call and discuss your options. Don’t wait until the night of the forecasted frost to call.



Crop Pollination

As breeders continue to come up with sweeter varities, these varieties seem to become harder to produce seed for.  Along with these new trials comes a sticky problem. Some of these hybrids can be difficult to pollinate or cross.

On the older varieties, growers plant four seed rows to each bull or male row. The tassels are pulled from the female rows to prevent self-pollination. This has worked well over the years, but with the newer varieties growers have begun planting two seed rows to each bull row. This gives more pollen "shed" over the silks of the seed rows.  When temperature is very high early in the day, the pollen dies before it can reach the seed rows.

That's where the helicopter comes in. Starting as soon as the dew leaves, we use a helicopter to fly up and down the bull rows to blow pollen to the silk of the female. This is usually done 4-5 times during the height of pollination. This operation must be carefully coordinated with the detassling crew. The corn must be free of tassels in the seed rows so the wrong pollen won't be spread in the field. Usually this cycle calls for one day of detassling then a day to fly.