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News Release

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Funds Feral Swine Control

Contact:
Nathan Fikkert
352-388-9539


GAINESVILLE, Fla., Nov. 20, 2019 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today it is awarding approximately $1.5 million to fund a project to control feral swine in the Red Hills region of Florida and Georgia, from Tallahassee Fla. to Thomasville Ga.

The project is part of the Feral Swine Eradication and Control Pilot Program, an effort between USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to help address the threat that feral swine pose to agriculture, ecosystems and human and animal health.

“Feral swine cause significant damage to crop and grazing lands, while also impacting the health of our natural resources,” said Florida NRCS State Conservationist Russell Morgan. “By collaborating with our partners nationally and here in Florida, our hope is to control and eradicate this invasive species – improving operations for farmers while also protecting our natural resources for the future.”

NRCS and APHIS are working with Tall Timbers Research Station in Jefferson and Leon counties in Florida and Brooks, Grady and Thomas counties in Georgia.  The project consists broadly of three coordinated components: 1) feral swine control by APHIS; 2) restoration efforts supported by NRCS; and 3) assistance to producers for feral swine control provided through partnership agreements with non-federal partners. As a result, partners will be conducting outreach and educational efforts and facilitating landowner activities in the project areas. A monitoring program will evaluate water quality, general damage to the area, crop land damage, and estimate the cost of restoring Ag land back into production.

NRCS, APHIS and the Florida and Georgia State Technical Agriculture Committees worked together to define the critical areas to be considered for the project. The project runs one to three years in duration. NRCS is awarding more than $16.7 million this year for feral swine pilot projects in select areas of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas. The funding limit for a single award is $1.5 million. APHIS is providing $23.3 million this year to the wildlife services programs located in the pilot projects states.

The 2018 Farm Bill provides $75 million for the Feral Swine Eradication and Control Pilot Program. These funds are for the life of the Farm Bill and divided evenly between NRCS and APHIS. Additional information on feral swine control work can be found at http://nrcs.usda.gov/fscp.