'Swine bomb' warning: Agriculture Department sounds alarm as wild hog population surges

USDA reports 35 states have been affected by wild hogs

 

By Hunter Davis, Fox News

Oct 14, 2020

 

RUNGE, Texas – The U.S. Department of Agriculture is warning about a “swine bomb” in America, amid a rapid increase in the country’s wild hog population.

 

The department has estimated that over 9 million feral hogs have been reported in 35 states across the country – and Texas has the most.

 

The state has documented hogs in all but one of its counties.

 

Recent research in the state has shown “we have over 2.5 million hogs at the very least,” Tracy Tomascik with the Texas Farm Bureau said. “In the matter of a year, one female can produce 50 to 100 hogs.”

 

Zachary Yanta, a Texas rancher and owner of Yanta Beef, said he knows this threat all too well. 

 

“I grew up on a ranch and as a young boy I just rode around with my dad on the property and developed a lot of interest in what was going on with the animals and with the crops,” Yanta said. “From a young kid, I just know this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”

 

The fifth-generation rancher has raised beef, corn, cotton and hay. The demanding operation has become even more difficult as the feral hog population has boomed in Texas. 

 

“We have had many encounters with feral hogs and a number of years ago, it was not the problem that it is today,” Yanta said. “It’s not uncommon at all for us to lose 30, 35, 40% of our crops to wild hogs and, you know, we can’t stand that anymore.”

 

“I grew up on a ranch and as a young boy I just rode around with my dad on the property and developed a lot of interest in what was going on with the animals and with the crops,” Yanta said. “From a young kid, I just know this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”

 

The fifth-generation rancher has raised beef, corn, cotton and hay. The demanding operation has become even more difficult as the feral hog population has boomed in Texas. 

 

“We have had many encounters with feral hogs and a number of years ago, it was not the problem that it is today,” Yanta said. “It’s not uncommon at all for us to lose 30, 35, 40% of our crops to wild hogs and, you know, we can’t stand that anymore.”

 

“They actively forage on crops that are common across the state like corn, wheat, oats and rice,” Tomascik said. “As a species, they are not very specific on what they will eat so as an invasive species they affect young cattle, sheep and goats.”

 

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more, including audio report [1:58 min.] 

https://www.foxnews.com/us/swine-bomb-wild-hogs-agriculture-department-population