Feral Hog Damage Studied
Louisiana’s growing population of feral hogs causes $91.1 million in damage to agricultural and timber lands each year, according to a newly released LSU AgCenter estimate.
Based on responses to a 2021 survey, the study found that hog damage costs landowners $66.2 million in crop losses and $24.9 million in other expenses annually. More than 950 people completed the survey, representing nearly 660,000 acres of crop fields, pastures and woods.
The hogs cause a myriad of problems to Louisiana agriculture, an industry worth about $12 billion annually. They root up, wallow in and trample crops, tree seedlings and wildlife food plots. They also are known to wreak havoc on pastures, drains, levees, fences and waterways.
AgCenter-Led Team Receives Grant to Help Farmers Irrigate Efficiently
With concerns about the sustainability of water supplies in mind, LSU AgCenter engineer Stacia Davis Conger is leading a team to develop an irrigation decision-making app and outreach campaign aimed at helping farmers mitigate drought risks in an environmentally and economically responsible way. She recently was awarded a $295,860 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to support the work.
“The long-term goal of this project is to inspire behavioral change in overall water consumption,” said Conger, who is based at the AgCenter Red River Research Station in Bossier City.
Conger, along with co-principal investigators Carol Friedland and Robert Rohli, is working on an app that will provide farmers site-specific irrigation recommendations based on current drought and hydrological conditions. By pinpointing areas of fields that need water most and helping determine the timing of irrigation events, this tool will allow farmers to become more efficient, she said.
Agents bring information to Louisiana Delta farmers’ fingertips
With many farmers too busy to attend field days and meetings, the LSU AgCenter has created the Louisiana Delta Crop Report podcast to keep them in the know.
The program, created four years ago by AgCenter agents Kylie Miller, Dennis Burns and R.L. Frazier, focuses on a wide variety of topics regarding agriculture in northeastern Louisiana. In 2022, Bruce Garner joined the crew, bringing Morehouse and West Carroll parishes into the mix.
“The Louisiana Delta Crop Report has expanded into YouTube educational videos, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and we are in the process of starting a blog,” he said. “Our social media platforms target East Carroll, Madison, Tensas, Morehouse, West Carroll, Catahoula and Concordia parishes.”
Miller said their goal in developing these new sources of information is to maintain that agent-to-grower line of communication.
Feral hogs run through a field at the LSU AgCenter Bob R. Jones-Idlewild Research Station near Clinton. LSU AgCenter file photo