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Economic estimates of feral swine damage and control in 11 US states

Aaron Anderson, Chris Slootmaker, Erin Harper, Jason Holderieath, Stephanie A. Shwiff
Crop protection 2016 v.89 pp. 89-94
Arachis hypogaea, Glycine max, Oryza sativa, Sorghum bicolor, Sus scrofa, Triticum, USDA, Zea mays, corn, crop damage, crop losses, crop production, crops, feral animals, peanuts, rice, soybeans, summer, surveys, swine, trapping, wheat, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas
We report the results of one of the most comprehensive surveys on feral swine (Sus scrofa) damage and control in 11 US states (Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas). The survey was distributed by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service in the summer of 2015 to a sample of producers of corn (Zea mays), soybeans (Glycine max), wheat (Triticum), rice (Oryza sativa), peanuts (Arachis hypogaea), and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) in the 11-state region. Producers that failed to respond to the initial mailing received multiple follow-up phone calls in an attempt to minimize non-response bias, and a total of 4377 responses were obtained. Findings indicate that damage can be substantial. The highest yield loss estimates occur in peanut and corn production in the Southeast and Texas. Control efforts are common, and producers incur considerable costs from shooting and trapping efforts. Extrapolating crop damage estimates to the state-level in 10 states with reportable damage yields an estimated crop loss of $190 million. Though large, this number likely represents only a small fraction of the total damage by feral swine in the 10 states because it only includes crop damage to six crops. We hope findings from this survey will help guide control efforts and research, as well as serve as a benchmark against which the effectiveness of future control efforts can be measured.