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Agricultural News

Oklahoma Included in Round Two of Feral Hog Control Projects by NRCS

Sat, 16 Jan 2021 20:16:56 CST

Oklahoma Included in Round Two of Feral Hog Control Projects by NRCS The Feral Swine Eradication and Control Pilot Program (FSCP) was established by the 2018 Farm Bill to respond to the threat feral swine pose to agriculture, native ecosystems, and human and animal health. USDA is focusing efforts through this pilot where feral swine pose the highest threat.

FSCP is implemented jointly by NRCS and USDA’s Animal and Plant Health and Inspection Service (APHIS). Total funding for the program is $75 million over the life of the 2018 Farm Bill. In the first round of funding, NRCS obligated more than $16.7 million for 20 feral swine pilot projects in ten states. APHIS and NRCS limited the first round of pilot projects to select areas of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas. Round 1 projects are currently ongoing and are a collaborative effort between APHIS, NRCS, and the selected partners. A second round of funding and projects have been selected. Projects to be included in round 2 of funding can be found in the below table and are expected to work in Alabama, Hawaii, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas.

Pilot projects will consist broadly of three coordinated components: 1) feral swine removal by APHIS; 2) restoration efforts supported by NRCS; and 3) assistance to producers for feral swine control provided through grants with non-federal partners.

Projects can last for one to three years and are expected to conclude September 30, 2023. This year, NRCS will invest up to $1.5 million per project and NRCS will provide up to 75 percent of the total project costs, with the remaining 25% of costs coming from match committed by the partner.

Monitoring and evaluation will be essential to measuring the success of the pilot projects and the program. This program aims to collect a comprehensive understanding of the extent and nature of damages related to feral swine experienced by landowners in project areas. To accomplish this, detailed data are to be collected on (1) crops, (2) livestock, (3) property (e.g. fences, implements, roads), (4) crop conversion due to damage, (5) surface damages to land, (6) stored commodities. We also capture landowners’ personal efforts at feral swine damage management by (1) personal damage management, (2) support from Wildlife Services, (3) any revenues derived from feral swine or wildlife, and (4) operational increases (e.g. checking and repairing fences) due to feral swine presence and damage on their property. All projects will collect damage assessment data, but may also collect additional information based on resource concerns of the area. For additional information, visit the Landowner Damage Assessment Survey page.

A total of 20 pilot projects across 10 states were identified for the first round of funding. Fourteen pilot projects in 8 states have been selected in the second round of funding and are expected to begin in 2021. Additional information about the pilot projects, including maps, project specifics, expected partner roles, and contacts for APHIS and NRCS at the state level, can be found in the below table.

The Red River Watershed in southwestern Oklahoma represents a priority area for reducing damage to agriculture and mitigating agricultural impacts to water quality. The watershed in located in southwest Oklahoma and feral swine are a significant agricultural pest in these counties and remain a risk for water quality. Oklahoma currently has a project consisting of 4 of the Red River Counties. In the second round- a new project is adding two adjacent counties, Beckham and Roger Mills counties, thereby assuring feral swine do not have easy access to repopulate the watershed. Click here to learn more about the work in these counties.

The project area encompassed Beckham County, 904 square miles (578,560 acres) and Roger Mills county, 1146 square miles (733,440 acres).. The four original counties in southwest Oklahoma include Harmon, Jackson, Cotton and Tillman Counties.

There will also be a second round project working on controlling feral swine in Osage and Pawnee Counties click here to learn more about these efforts.

Finally- there are efforts underway in Round One for Kay County in the north central part of Oklahoma along the Kansas border- click here for detaills of that project.

Learn more about the ongoing efforts that have sprung up out of the 2018 Farm Law by clicking here.



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