Oklahoma Ag Secretary Jim Reese Delivers Brief on Feral Hog Problem and State of the Ag IndustryFri, 18 Nov 2016 17:14:04 CST
As the feral hog situation in Oklahoma continues to grow and fester among members of the rural and agricultural communities, Farm Director Ron Hays sat down with Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese to discuss measures being taken by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture to combat these pests that have become rampant across the state.
“We’re all focused on avenues to eliminate them. If there’s a way to kill a hog, we’re for it,” Reese said. “Maybe now with a new EPA administrator and a new administration in Washington, we might have a little bit more success in getting those things through.”
Those measures Reese refers to are the use of toxicants in eradicating feral hog populations. This, along with other methods of elimination such as trapping, night hunting and vision hunting, are all tactics being pursued by a task force put together by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. The strategies that have been implemented so far have proven to be fairly effective, he says.
“We believe in all the above methods so we might need night hunting, we might need vision hunting, all that stuff,” Reese said. “They are successful. Since 2011, we’ve increased the number we’ve eliminated 221 percent.”
Reese states that the department’s goal is to kill 10,000 hogs in 2016 and so far approximately 8,650 have been exterminated. He says that number will pick up as leaves start to fall, making it much easier to locate the hogs. Reese says he believes progress will continue to be made.
Despite the damage caused by these animals, Reese says that this year has been great for the state’s ag industry in terms of production. And although he realizes the price of commodities has been disheartening to farmers, he offers some sound advice.
“Every industry goes through cycles and agriculture goes through more frequent and probably more exaggerated cycles than most,” Reese said. “So, you go through cycles and you just have to get through the bad cycles to enjoy the benefits of good ones.”
To listen to the full conversation between Hays and Sec. Reese, click on the LISTEN BAR below.
Secretary Reese will join Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays for his weekly In the Field segment on KWTV News9 in the Oklahoma City area on Saturday morning at 6:40 a.m.
Also, to read a related story about the Ag Department’s fight against the feral hog issue in Oklahoma, click here.
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