Project Details:

Feral Swine Control to Oklahoma Soybean Producers

Parent Project: This is the first year of this project.
Checkoff Organization:Oklahoma Soybean Board
Categories:Animal Nutrition, Animal Health
Organization Project Code:
Project Year:2020
Lead Principal Investigator:Kenny Kellett (USDA)
Co-Principal Investigators:

Contributing Organizations

Funding Institutions

Information and Results

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Project Summary

European explorers used feral swine as a food source; they are not native to North America and are considered a destructive invasive species. In the early 1900s, closed-range or fencing for livestock was not a common practice. Since domestic swine were allowed to roam freely, many swine became feral. In the 1930s, Russian wild boars that are native to Europe and Asia were imported into areas of the United States for sport hunting. As wild boars escaped or boars were released to roam, crossbreeding occurred between feral swine and the Russian wild boar. Reproduction occurred as early as six months with a litter as big as 12 piglets. To-date 74 out of 77 counties in Oklahoma have reported feral swine; the feral swine population is reported to be over one million.

Feral swine have caused damage to numerous soybean producers in Oklahoma with some areas having to be replanted due to swine impacts. Wildlife Services (WS) has assisted with Oklahoma agriculture producers to remove 14,114 feral swine, corral-type traps removed 6,717 and 899 were removed with thermal imaging. Some of the corral traps and thermal imaging devices were purchased with checkoff funding from the Oklahoma Soybean Board.

Plant damage occurs from the consumption of agricultural resources and from trampling, rooting, and/or wallowing, which is common for feral swine. Rooting is a common activity of feral swine during their search for food. Along with damages occurring from consumption, there is also a potential disease threat associated with feral swine. WS program in Oklahoma conducts disease surveillance as part of the National Wildlife Disease Surveillance Program. Although there are numerous diseases that feral swine carry and transmit, Oklahoma tests for the two most common: Swine Brucellosis and Pseudorabies, also known as mad itch.

Project Objectives

With the assistance of Oklahoma Soybean Board, Wildlife Services (WS) has been able to utilize a variety of methods and techniques to reduce feral swine damages to producers. Methods such as thermal imaging for removal of lone boars and older and wiser swine from the sounder, wireless trail cameras for population counts and travel times, material to manufacture corral traps for removal of sounders and grain carts to purchase bulk corn and transportation. These removal techniques have been a success and WS is proud and appreciative that the Soybean Board has supported and continues to support the efforts to control feral swine. Both the Soybean Board and WS understand the problem that the future holds if the feral swine problem is not controlled.

WS has been utilizing tripwire to release the corral trap gate capturing feral swine. In some instances, non-target species such as raccoon and deer triggered the trap door before the feral swine reached the trap, therefore making it difficult to catch the swine and prolong the damages the producers are acquiring. WS is proposing that the Oklahoma Soybean Board assist by providing 10 Hogg Boss trapping gate units, 10 Spartan wireless trail cameras, material to manufacture new corral traps along with two grain carts. The newer technology will reduce the likelihood of non-target species triggering the corral trap doors, increase the feral swine capture and allow WS staff to be more productive in their trapping efforts. In return, this will help Oklahoma Soybean producers alleviate damages to their agricultural fields.

Project Deliverables

Oklahoma WS will also be in contact and share information about the disease study with the National Feral Swine program and be a part of trainings for using state-of-the-art devices as well as train others to use devices to help prevent threat to soybean producers, human health and safety. WS proposes that the Oklahoma Soybean Board assist with the cost of the procurement. WS will regularly conduct outreach and workshops with stakeholders on management efforts to educate the public about feral swine that have a negative impact on Oklahoma’s agricultural producers.

Progress of Work

Final Project Results

Benefit to Soybean Farmers

The activities to be conducted shall provide services consistent with the mission and objectives of the Oklahoma Soybean Board and the Soybean Promotion Act and Order. The described activities will lead to increased efficiency in the soybean industry by reducing the destructive and costly effects of feral swine damage to Oklahoma soybean crops. In addition, Wildlife Services will provide study to advance the production of soybeans by determining the most effective way to reduce/eliminate feral swine that significantly damage Oklahoma soybean fields.

Performance Metrics

Project Years

YearProject Title (each year)
2020Feral Swine Control to Oklahoma Soybean Producers