OKLAHOMA (KJRH)– State and federal groups are meeting Thursday to deal with a growing problem… Experts are finding feral swine in every Oklahoma county, and they’re destroying farm land.
Right now, Langston University and the USDA are holding a meeting with farmers at a food sovereignty initiative. Their goal is to survey the extent of the damage wild hogs are causing.
“They’re the most destructive thing there is out here.”
At Hanna Farm, the wild hogs are as big of a problem as any.
“We had around 200 of them this year.”
That number is higher than it has been in the last 50 to 60 years… a sign of a growing problem.
On just one part of the 400 acres on his farm in Muskogee Creek Nation, E.C. Hessom will tell you how serious the damage is.
“This field right here would probably make three truck loads of soybeans – which would be about 3,000 bushel and we lost that.”
The crops are growing again, but tracks show the hogs are sticking around. With traps set, Hessom is hopeful the newest vandals will be caught soon.
“They will go in and out of it and we can catch a bunch of them. But right now, according to our cameras, we have about 30 down in here with this bunch we are trying to capture.”
But catching them won’t be that easy. The hogs seem to chew through barbed wire with ease.
“That is the way they travel in and out.”
At night, they move into the fields, quickly destroying crops, especially watermelon.
“It would be just bright red down through there. They would destroy a couple…2 to 300 watermelon a night.”
At tonight’s meeting, farmers – including Hessom – are sharing and describing the extent of the damage does to their land. Then the USDA will see which strategies can be used to reduce the swine populations.