How seeds are planted from a helicopter or with darts

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News:The Delhi High Court has asked the forest authorities whether planting of seeds could be done by throwing dart shots containing them from helicopters into forest areas.

Facts:

What is Aerial Seeding?

  • Aerial seeding is a technique of sowing seeds by spraying them through aerial mechanical means such as a drone,plane or helicopter.
  • Aerial seeding is adopted because it is quicker and more effective than planting manually.It also allows access to areas where the terrain is rocky or at high elevation.
  • However,Aerial Seeding is generally achieved not with darts but by spraying seeds through an aircraft or a drone.

About Dart Seeding:

  • Dart seeding is used with the same broad objective as aerial seeding for a plantation in inaccessible areas.The process involves throwing darts containing seeds onto open ground.
  • A variation of dart seeding was used in Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary in the late 1990s but not with a helicopter.
  • Under Dart Seeding,the Forest Department used a long iron rod to access ground that could not be reached due to thick cover of shrubs.Seeds were put into the rod,which had a small opening at the other end. 
  • When the rod was inserted and then removed,the soil would cover the seed unlike in aerial plantation when seeds are thrown into open ground. 
  • Hence,if dart plantation is done from a low-flying helicopter,seeds have a relatively better chance of survival as they reach deeper into the ground.