Agronomy: Goosing the Cotton

After the great mechanical mulchers have completed their clattering passage; after the green seedlings have sprouted above black ribbons of polyethylene plastic (TIME, April 19) and the chemical spray guns have finished their hissing attack on bug and weed, the most modern cotton fields in the U.S. are likely to resound to an unexpected and old-fashioned racket. Day after day, nearly a million geese honk their way across the carefully tended farmland. In a time of rising costs and declining markets, cotton growers are showing an expanding enthusiasm for an antiquated agricultural technique known as "cotton goosing."

Geese can be...

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