Boars. Wild hogs. Feral pigs.
No matter the term, hogs can be a big problem. Especially for landowners who depend on their property to supply crops that provide for their livelihood.
Hunters Helping Farmers is a new program combining the efforts of the state Department of Agriculture and the Department of Natural Resources to help alleviate the agricultural and financial damage caused by these non-native invasive pests.
“It is a natural fit to connect hunters and farmers together to try and help solve this growing problem, said Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black. ‘”In no way will this be a silver bullet, but hopefully one small way we can help assist in this huge issue for our farmers.”
Rooting, trampling and consumption of crops are the most common type of damage seen by farmers. Crops most often destroyed include rice, sorghum, wheat, corn, soybeans, peanuts, potatoes, watermelon and cantaloupe. Hogs also can potentially contribute to bacterial contamination and sedimentation issues in waterways and they can carry numerous diseases, such as brucellosis and pseudo rabies.
“Feral hogs are known for causing extensive damage,” said DNR Commissioner Mark Williams. “By matching a hunter who is looking for additional hunting opportunities, with a landowner who needs help dispatching feral hogs, we hope to provide some relief to those who are suffering from this problem.”
Interested farmers can register on the Georgia Department of Agriculture Web site at www.agr.georgia.gov. For more information, call 1-844-464-5455.