Guano from gigantic goose gaggle costs Finnish farmer 60K euros

Millions were enchanted by the sight of hundreds of thousands of barnacle geese descending on a field in Elimäki, southern Finland last weekend. But the field's grain-farming owner now faces 60,000 euros in losses caused by massive amounts of guano air-dropped by the gigantic gaggle.

An unusually large number of barnacle geese ruined 68 hectares of crops with a sizable amount of droppings in Elimäki, Southern Finland, resulting in one local farmer's financial losses of some 60,000 euros - writes yle.fi.

Increasingly, huge flocks of barnacle geese (Branta leucopsis) – widely considered pests – stop to rest in southern Finnish fields during their migration south. The birds cannot land in fields where the standing crops have not been gathered, and neither do they eat the harvest; instead the geese prefer to touch down in flat areas where crops have already been threshed.

It is during the flocks' flight that the problem arises.

Lasse Hannola, the farmer who grows wheat and oats in the field, says the geese defecate as they fly above the fields.

"Wherever the geese went, harvests were lost. We had high hopes for this year's yield. Those crops can't even be used as animal feed."

The enormous gaggle has temporarily settled in an area nearby, adjacent to fields owned by a number of other local farmers.

Adding insult to injury

The most recent guano fallout only adds insult to injury, growers say, as the wet summer had already caused heavy flooding in some parts of the region.

Threshing machines cannot be used in flooded fields and persistent heavy rains mean that pumping the water out will not necessarily help. The geese do not need to leave the submerged area even to roost for the night -- they gather in water to protect themselves from predators.

"The areas that weren't already soaked were spoiled by the geese," Hannola says. "At least the EU farming subsidies will make up for part of my losses."

Hannola says he does not want to evict the feathered troublemakers using pest-control methods.

"I don't think it would do much good at this point. I'll leave the ruined crops, droppings and all, as the mulch will serve as fertiliser for next year."

Read more news of Helsinki on our site.

yle.fi
Finnishfarmer giganticgoose
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
1 view in november
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Society
A citizens initiative demanding the end of diesel tax met its target for 50,000 signatures in just one day, six months ahead of schedule. Cities across the world might be looking for ways to reduce the use of harmful diesel engines, but in Finland there appears to be a groundswell of popular support for the dirty fuel. On Monday Tuulikki Paavola published a citizens initiative demanding an end to Finland’s diesel tax was published, with the goal of getting...
Society
The winners of the first edition of the European Capital of Smart Tourism competition were awarded 7th of November at a ceremony in Brussels, on the occasion of the European Tourism Day. The title for 2019 was awarded to two cities: Helsinki and Lyon. Cities of more than 100.000 inhabitants were eligible in the first edition of this competition. 38 cities from 19 EU Member States applied, but Helsinki and Lyon stood out for their innovative tourism measure...
Society
Alexander Stubb (NCP), a vice-president at the European Investment Bank (EIB), has hinted at the possibility of returning to politics after losing the race to become the lead candidate of the European People’s Party (EPP) to Manfred Weber of Germany. Stubb received more votes than expected but lost to his rival candidate by a clear vote of 127 to 492 at EPP Congress Helsinki on Thursday. “I got a very good feeling [from the campaign], I must admit,” the fo...
Politics
The Finnish government will introduce no amendments to legislation on patient data during this electoral term, assures Annika Saarikko, the Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services. Saarikko and Kai Mykkänen (NCP), the Minister of the Interior, have participated actively in public debate concerning a legislative proposal that, according to Helsingin Sanomat, has been drafted in secrecy and would grant police significantly wider access to sensitive pa...
Society
School groups could in the future use public transport services in the Helsinki region free of charge when travelling with a teacher, according to a decision made by the Executive Board of Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) on 30 October 2018. The final decision on transport charges, including tickets for school groups, will be made by the HSL General Meeting on 27 November.  From the beginning of 2019 onwards, municipal school administrations would no longer...
Society
Finland has dropped to eighth in the world in the latest version of a ranking of countries according to their English language skills. Finns are now the worst English-speakers in the Nordic countries, according to the EF English Proficiency Index. The 2018 version of the ranking puts Finland in eighth spot, with western neighbour Sweden topping the comparison. This year’s result is the weakest Finland has achieved in the ranking, which has been published e...
Society
The theme of next month's Independence Day ball at Helsinki's Presidential Palace will be climate change and environmental issues. The theme of this year's Independence Day reception will be climate change and the environment, according to the Office of the President of the Republic. Finland's most exclusive social occasion is just one month away, and the Office of the President has started sending invitations to some 1,700 guests for an evening that tradi...
Society
The day's papers report on unsolved thefts, free head lice medicine for families and Angela Merkel's visit to Helsinki. Daily Helsingin Sanomat reports that most larcenies go unsolved in Finland. According to statistics by the Police University College, police were able to clear 3,150 offences between January and September of this year, while about 41,500 remain unsolved. In 80 smaller municipalities, especially in Lapland and Åland, the police did not sol...
Society
Finland's Tax Administration reports that 15,000 more eligible taxpayers declared no taxable income in the last two years, putting the total past 160,000 in 2017. https://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/steady_increase_in_declarations_of_no_taxable_income/10492154 The number of eligible taxpayers who reported no taxable income in Finland has risen by 15,000 in the last two years to a total of 161,000 in 2017. "Most of the people declaring no taxable income are...