Flags Help Keep Geese Out Of Fields

If you have problems with geese ravaging your fields, you may want to "wave" them off with inexpensive orange flags built by Paul Sebo, of the Manitowoc County Soil and Water Conservation Dept., Manitowoc,. Wis., who last fall worked with two area farmers with geese problems. He notes that while the flags don't eliminate geese problems and damage, they do help to reduce problems and are an inexpensive and quiet alternative to cannons and other scare devices.

He made the flags out of a fluorescent orange plastic-type material 20-in. wide and about 5 ft. long, although he notes that some area farmers use black plastic bags instead. The top of the flag is stapled to a 2 by 2-in. board 20 in. long. This board, in turn, is fastened to a 6-ft. long, 2 by 2-in. stake driven into the ground. The top board is fastened so it can pivot atop the stake and change directions with the wind.

Sebo says that the flags seem to work because of their bright orange color and their movement as they blow in the wind.

He notes that flag placement depends on the crop. For example, in an open alfalfa field, he suggests scouting the field and placing the flags in the area where geese tend to congregate. In cornfields with part of the crop harvested, he advises placing flags, about 3 per 20 acres, about 100 ft. outside the remaining standing crop.