Number of feral hogs continues to rise, costing farmers

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 - 3:06pm

WACO -- It's a constant game of catch-up. Farmers lay down the seed and within hours feral hogs have already consumed it.

"It's just the money pit. You spend the time and money to, not to solve the problem but to slow down the issue," said farmer Keith Hanson.

Money that should be going towards crops but instead goes towards expensive traps and aerial hunting trips.

"It's definitely an increasing problem. The reproduction rate of a hog is just astounding," said Hanson.

"I want to say 4 million, somewhere in that neighborhood and rising. So we have hogs, more hogs in the state of Texas than a lot of states put together," said Gene Richardson, associate director of commodities and regulatory activities. 

This is a picture of Hanson's corn field after feral hogs came through and ripped up the seed.

What was supposed to be straight rows of corn now resembles more of a crop circle.

Hanson said he recently lost between 40 to 50 acres.

"With today's prices and having an average yield, it's probably costing about, you're probably losing about $600-700 an acre," said Hansen.

"They're so destructive, they run up and down our water shed and they leave behind bacteria and that's beginning to be an impact on our water shed and the quality of water we have in those waterways," said Richardson.

But catching these guys is tricky.

"Most hogs are smarter than the dog and if you do things wrong the first time as far as trapping, and they get away, you probably won't get them in their trap again," said Richardson.

The Texas AgriLife Extension Service will hold a feral hog educational webinar series starting September 18 for anyone interested.

To learn more about that you can visit: www.texasfarmbureau.org/newsmanager/templates/DailyNews.aspx?articleid=12885&zoneid=1
 

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