Willacy Co. Farmer Struggling with Feral Hog Overpopulation

4 years 2 months 1 week ago Monday, April 10 2017 Apr 10, 2017 April 10, 2017 5:30 PM April 10, 2017 in News

RAYMONDVILLE – A Rio Grande Valley farmer said feral hogs are devouring his cash crop and costing him thousands of dollars in losses.

Farmer Troy Shewmaker is no stranger to feral hogs running rampant on his corn fields in Willacy County.

“Knocking our paycheck way down, and we’re just trying to prevent that and take them out before they take us out,” he said. “Any year we have a good crop or have corn, they come out and taste everything, but they prefer the corn.”

Shewmaker said the damage they can cause is extensive for a farmer.

“We lost about three or four cars of corn and each car is about 100,000 pounds. So 400,000 pounds, do the math and it get very costly,” he said.

Shewmaker said he isn’t the only one battling this invasive species.

According to the Texas Department of Agriculture, there are about 2.6 million feral hogs in the state. The statistic marks the highest hog population in the U.S.

The hogs can cause an estimated $52 million worth of damage to farmers each year. It’s the reason Shewmaker wants them gone.

“Our main goal is to knock them out during April,” he said.

The farmer said his best option is to bring in hunters to help decrease their population before harvest in June. 

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