Sometimes, the only way to get at crops in and around the hills of South Gippsland is from the air. m125216

THERE was no rest for Ag pilots over the Christmas-New Year period locally, especially with the snow pea season in full swing.
With the snow peas enjoying those north and east facing slopes that pick up the morning sun, it’s often the only way to get to them with the various sprays and fertilisers they need to keep healthy and growing happily.
And in the past week, Joe McDonald of the Leongatha-based Super Planes, has been out and about, using the good weather to advantage, to get to those inaccessible places with his distinctive-looking, yellow Ayres Thrush crop-duster.
It’s not a job for the faint hearted, swooping in low over powerlines and then rising up fast to dodge trees and, in the case of Korumburra’s Holmes Hill, flying out around telecommunications towers.
But the proximity to houses and the terrain isn’t as close as you might think, looking on from a distance.
It’s all calculated in advance to reduce the risk, and in any case, it’s a necessary service, in the hill country around South Gippsland