While I have not used weeder geese specifically for Johnson grass control, I
have experimented with them in a variety of crop and weed situations and have
had mixed results.
Last spring, Tom Lanini, Don Stewart and I (at UC Davis) used a small flock of
young geese (12) to control bluegrass and barnyard grass in about 1.3 acres of
processing tomatoes over about a four-day period. It was a wet spring and the
grasses came up quickly in a single flush. It was too wet to get a tractor on
to cultivate or spray but not too wet to put the geese out. We used poultry
netting to restrict them to areas of 0.15 to 0.2 acres and moved them once or
twice a day. They were very effective at removing the grasses and did no damage
to the tomato plants as long as grass was available. ( Once we left them over
night in an area without grass and they ate some tomato plants.)
While this isn't much acreage for processing tomatoes it demonstrated that
geese could be used effectively for biological weed control on small acreages of
some high value crops.
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