By David Vail
University of Nebraska at Kearney 

Farmers and cropdusting pilots on the Great Plains worried about pesticide risks before 'Silent Spring'


(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)

(THE CONVERSATION) It is easy to frame conservation as a clash between environmentalists and polluters. But this view can greatly oversimplify many complex choices. What does conservation look like when ideas about nature cut across political lines?

In my book, “Chemical Lands: Pesticides, Aerial Spraying and Health in North America’s Grasslands since 1945,” I explore how pilots, scientists and farmers developed practices for “cropdusting” on the Great Plains after World War II. Th...

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