Aerial application, or what is informally referred to as crop dusting, involves spraying crops with crop protection products from an agricultural aircraft. Planting certain types of seed are also included in aerial application. The specific spreading of fertilizer is also known as aerial topdressing in some countries. Many countries have severely limited aerial application of pesticides and other products because of environmental and public health hazards like spray drift; most notably, the European Union banned it outright with a few highly restricted exceptions in 2009, effectively ending the practice in all member states.
Agricultural aircraft are highly specialized, purpose-built aircraft.