Monday, February 24, 2014

Canada geese taking a bite out of Jersey/Pennsy farms

Canada geese taking a bite out of local farms - Akira Suwa (Inquirer)

Farmers call them "flying rats" or "deer with wings."
They gather by the tens of thousands every year about this time to graze on sprouting winter wheat, rye, alfalfa, and barley. 
They're voracious, persistent, and dirty, leaving behind a trail of droppings. 
Canada geese. 
"You see a couple, then 10, 50, 100, 300," said farmer Ray Hlubik, 61, of Chesterfield, Burlington County. Soon, like a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, "they cover a whole field. 
"They decimated my alfalfa last year," Hlubik said. And in the early spring, "they pulled the tops off my sweet corn."

That's how Philadelphia Inquirer writer Edward Colimore sets up his story about the "foul problems in New Jersey and Pennsylvania cost farmers hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in lost produce and force the replanting of geese-ravaged fields."
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