How controlling feral pigs can save you money

While it has previously been estimated that feral pigs cause approximately $14 million worth of damage to crops and pastures per annum, new research conducted by AgEcon has shown that controlling feral pigs can save farmers up to $100/ha.

Funded by North West Local Land Services, AgEcon’s research outlines the cost benefit results of feral pig control across key farming enterprises in North West NSW.

North West Local Land Services Senior Biosecurity Officer, David Lindsay said research found that chickpeas, a high-value crop that can experience extensive damage from feral pigs had the highest potential net benefits of undertaking feral pig control, up to $100/ha.

“Additionally, the use of coordinated, area wide management could generate higher than average net benefits, sustained over a longer period,” Mr Lindsay said.

“The most cost-effective control methods across the majority of enterprises were found to be baiting and aerial shooting.”

With feral pig numbers expected to increase this season as a result of improved conditions and recent rainfall, North West Local Land Services is urging landholders to start control programs early to prevent damage.

‘Coordinating control programs with your neighbours is key, as a broadscale approach will result in a greater knock down being achieved,” Mr Lindsay said.

“Fewer feral pigs mean less damage to your crop and more money in your pocket.

“During cooler weather, feral pigs require increased dietary protein, with recent baiting programs showing pigs are coming onto grain piles quickly and easily.

“You can draw a larger number of feral pigs to the bait site with a longer free feeding period.”

Controlling feral pigs remains a high priority in the North West as they are known to cause significant damage to environmentally sensitive areas and farming enterprises. Additionally, they carry diseases including Brucellosis, leptospirosis and Q fever, all of which can affect humans.

To read the full report on the cost benefit analysis of feral pig control in North West NSW, visit the Feral Pig Program web page.

Landholders wanting to be part of the coordinated effort to control feral pigs and learn how to free feed effectively for baiting should contact Local Land Services on 1300 795 299.

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