Effects of spring grazing by greater snow geese on hay production.
Effects of spring grazing by the greater snow goose (Chen caerulescens atlantica) on hay production were studied in an agricultural area of 283 ha at Montmagny, Quebec. A flock of 13 500 used the area between 1 April and 19 May 1980. Measurements were obtained at 51 sampling stations randomly located in new or older hayfields. Grass height and total harvestable biomass measured immediately after goose departure (19 May) and at harvest (28 June) were inversely related to prior goose utilization. Yield reduction at harvest as a consequence of April and May grazing by staging geese amounted to 47.1 g DM/m2 of total harvestable biomass; this represented an estimated 125 t of hay or a 14.3% reduction of potential yield.