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Feral hogs: rushin’ to cause problems for ag industry
Another litter of piglets will soon cause crop damage.
Junior JournalistsFebruary 13, 2013 7,310 views 3 comments
By Hayden Krueger
Over the past years, the amount of feral hogs or wild hogs has taken over dramatically all over Texas. These non-domestic pigs have entered Texas in a swarm of destruction. Here in Wilson County, these species are not too hard to spot. They are not relatives to the javelina or peccary, which are indigenous to Texas. They are from several mixed populations of feral swine and the Russian boar. The impact from these animals comes in many different areas such as destruction of crops, killing of small livestock, or even the danger of automotive damage.
Texas has established a new section of the toll road, S.H. 130, and these pesky animals have endangered the travelers taking this thoroughfare. The first night of opening the new section of highway, four incidents of car accidents were reported because of the crossing of wild pigs on S.H. 130.
Texas farmers and ranchers make a living and keep afloat with the growing and distribution of hay and crops, but these animals have put another strain on the production of such products.
Joshua Heimann, Stockdale High School ag sciences teacher, shares a similar problem. He said, “The pigs are tearing up my field that my cattle graze off of. They are a constant problem for me.”
Wild pigs have made a name for themselves of being destructive and they surely prove this with the destruction of fields and crops. Even though these pigs are of a different heritage from domestic swine, they still express some of the same living traits. These feral hogs use their snout to dig and move dirt and soil around to create holes or burrows in the ground for shelter and coolness from the Texas heat. They seem to use farmland for the making of burrows because farmland soil is of better quality and more fertile. This causes crops to be uprooted and killed in the process of making the holes. Not only are these holes or burrows harming the crops, but also the farming equipment used in the production of farming. Some holes can be up to 4 to 5 feet in length and a foot deep, causing a rough field for farmers to drive their equipment and tractors through. The holes being that big can easily break an axle housing on a tractor or inflict damage to any part of a piece of equipment.
Many people around Texas are trying to help eliminate these pests in many different ways such as trapping and capturing or even by hunting down the pigs with all different types of weaponry. This task has become almost a lifestyle here in Texas and is becoming more popular and known around the Lone Star State. Most people are trying to eliminate them because of the damage and destruction they cause, while others gain a sense of entertainment out of trapping or hunting wild pigs. The problem with this solution is that these hogs are here to stay. Sad but true, the amount of hunting or trapping land owners and hunters seem to do, these pigs reproduce way too rapidly to put a severe dent in their population.
Say hello to a new breed of wildlife that has inhabited the great state of Texas.
Junior Journalist Hayden Krueger attends Stockdale High School. The senior serves as vice president of the Stockdale FFA and is a member of the National Honor Society. Hayden’s parents are Curtis and Donna Krueger.
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