WEST MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — Feral hogs cause millions of dollars of damage to agriculture in Louisiana each year.
“They are pushing out a lot of other wildlife and really destroying a lot of crops and vegetation,” said Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain.
The direct agricultural impact from damage and re-planting ranges between $76 million and $100 million dollars a year, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). This includes road crops, livestock, timberland, according to Luke Stamper, a regional Wildlife and Forestry Agent.
While the crop is damaged, a specific part of the crop is impacted the most by feral hogs.
“One of the big issues is the fact that they can seek out and find freshly planted seed,” said Stamper. “There’s losses in having to re-plant.”
The LDWF says feral hogs most commonly seek out fresh crops but more specifically newly planted seeds, which ends up affecting much more.
“It’s also production costs.. more seeds. Having to buy double the seed because they’ve lost to predation by feral hogs, or they have to buy twice the diesel to run tractors back and forth to repair rooting or wallowing across fields,” said Stamper.
While it seems these pigs only damage crop for farmers, Commissioner Strain says they can actually impact the infrastructure that could affects cities.
Commissioner Strain said, “They will also cause problems for drainage and water flow. If you have any type of flooding, they will get up on the levees and the part where the levee meets the junction — they will get right there and weaken the levees.”
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