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Employment of commercial pilots, including agricultural pilots, is expected to grow about as fast as the average through 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Prospects for pilots specifically employed in support of agriculture and forestry, however, are projected to decline slightly. Still, there will continue to be good employment opportunities for experienced agricultural pilots in the future. However, the demand for agricultural pilots depends largely on farmers' needs. For example, during times when insect and pest control becomes a problem, there is greater demand for agricultural pilots. There is also some concern within the industry that genetically engineered crops (resistant to certain diseases) may decrease the need for aerial applications and cause a loss of business for agricultural pilots. Finally, there has been a push from environmental groups for U.S. farmers to use less fertilizer and pesticide, as well as increase their use of organic farming techniques. Keeping these factors in mind, employment prospects will probably be best with larger farms and ranches and in states with long growing seasons.
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