Wind turbines pose problems for aerial applicators

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As wind turbines become a more common sight in North Dakota, Aerial applicators have had to figure out ways to work around them.

Steve Iglehart, an applicator based out of Bismarck says his main issue is with the blades.

"Generators turning, or they could be hiding a MET tower where they're hard to see," said Steve Iglehart, Aerial Applicator.

Iglehart says he also has to watch out for crews working on the towers. He dodges some of these problems by going at times of day when the wind is typically lighter.

"Just be more proactive, get more in touch with the co-ops who own these things, and communicate with them, see if they'll work with me shutting them down. It's going to be the new norm, I think that's how it's going to be, and I just gotta work around that and do the best that I can," said Iglehart.

Some applicators said they would turn down jobs near turbines, rather than deal with added risk.

In the U.S. more than 70-million acres of cropland are treated by aerial application annually according to the National Agricultural Aviation Association.