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August 2020 Articles

Just Rambling August 2020 Issue:
Scripture To Live By: Psalm 37:1-4,9
Spiritual Corner: Humility Unmasked
Livestock and Forage Interactions
Guidance Regarding How to Handle Unsolicited Seed Materials
Heat Stress Impacts All Aspects of Cattle Reproduction
Soil Health in Forage Systems
Plants, the essentials of life
• Feral Swine Population
LDWF Update
AgCenter entomologist studies physiological pathways’ role in honeybee health,
A problem is a chance for you to do your best.—Duke Ellington
Choosing the right warm-season forage for deer
Use summer to plan your fall garden
Strain: USMCA major victory for agriculture
Invasive Species Impacting Crops
Additional Coronavirus Relief Critical to Farm Businesses
USDA Report on Beef Prices First Step Toward Fairer Markets
AgCenter presents virtual field day from Dean Lee
Beef Brunch Educational Series
Beginning farmer training program begins Oct. 1 in Baton Rouge
LSU AgCenter Sweet Potato Field Day
Blueberry Pound Cake

(24 articles found)

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Feral Swine Population

Feral Swine Population Glen Gentry, Ph.D., LSU AgCenter Feral swine are not native to North America. It is thought that these animals were brought in during the 1500’s as a food source for explorers. The pigs released into the wild by explorers, pigs managed “at-large” and escapes from domestic swine farms all played a role in seeding the landscape with feral swine. Over the last couple of decades, the feral swine population has exploded, this drastic increase is due to several reasons. First, pigs are very adaptive and can live in almost every environment, they are also omnivorous, meaning they will eat just about anything containing a calorie (plant or animal) and their reproductive rate is very high. Because of these aspects and the transportation of feral swine by humans, as of June 2020, the USDA states that feral swine have been reported in 35 states and the population within the US is over 6 million. In Louisiana, it is estimated that there are over 700,000 pigs, which works out to about 13 pigs per square mile, up from 10 pigs per square mile a few years ago. Legal Control Methods Current methods that are legal to utilize for the control of feral swine include: daytime shooting, Juda pig, box trapping, corral trapping, snaring, drop netting and aerial gunning. None of these methods are considered effective in the long term but can be used as a stopgap short-term solution to reduce pig numbers in an area. Below are results from trapping that show how effective the use of corral traps can be. Over the course of several years, the Bob R Jones Idlewild Research Station operated a trap loaner program. This program offered cellular controlled corral traps that were purchased on a Louisiana Soybean and Grain Research and Promotion Board grant to stakeholders that could show pig damage was severely impacting agronomics on their farm. Over the course of this grant we reached 66 stakeholders and removed over 440 pigs from the landscape. For a stakeholder to receive a trap, AgCenter personnel would travel to the stakeholder’s farm and assess for feral swine damage, if damage was present a camera was set up to monitor the property to determine the number of pigs present. If the number was sufficient then the trap was set up in stages to capture and remove the pigs. We only achieved a 59% trapping success. Meaning once pigs were identified by camera and trap building ensued, about 40% of the time the pigs left the area due to the changes in the landscape. On average, we caught 11 pigs per successful capture. Seventy-five percent of the pigs caught were juveniles, 16% were sows and 9% were boars. These results show that just because pigs are present on an area, the odds of trapping them are not that great. Over the course of time, very few adult animals were captured compared with juveniles.


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