Sunday, June 4, 2023

Farmers save big bucks from feral pig control programs

Recent stories

Adam Marshall, NSW Minister for Agriculture and Minister for Western NSW, Media Release, 10 June 2021

Groundbreaking research funded by the NSW Government has today revealed feral pig control programs can save landholders up to $100 per hectare, Minister for Agriculture and Minister for Western NSW Adam Marshall has announced.

Adam Marshall, Minister for Agriculture and Minister for Western NSW with West Wild Dog Coordinator Bruce Duncan (left) and feral pigs expert Darren Marshall (right) discussing the Western Tracks Collaring Project

Mr Marshall said the new research revealed the true extent of the impacts of the pest, after it had been previously estimated feral pigs cause $14 million worth of damage to crops and pastures annually.

“These results confirm just how important it is that we invest heavily in pest management control programs,” Mr Marshall said.

“The research conducted across key farming enterprises in North West NSW found that chickpeas, a high-value crop that can experience extensive damage from feral pigs, had the highest potential net benefits of undertaking control, up to $100/ha.

“It also found baiting and aerial shooting programs were the most cost-effective control methods across the majority of enterprises.

“Feral pigs are one of the most wide-spread pests which cause significant economic losses to primary production and other agricultural enterprises in many parts of the State and also damage environmental and cultural sites.

“Fewer feral pigs mean less damage to your crop and more money in your pocket.”

The research was conducted by AgEcon, funded by North West Local Land Services (LLS) and was completed in the State’s north west. 

To help combat feral pig populations, the NSW Government also runs the:

  • Western Riverina Pest Project, which between June 2016 and June 2019, culled 34,519 feral pigs across 1.3 million hectares; and,
  • Western Tracks Collaring Project, which was launched in 2020 to monitor the movements of and control feral pigs and dogs.

Mr Marshall said feral pig activity was expected to increase this season as a result of improved conditions and recent rainfall, and therefore urged landholders to start control programs early to prevent damage.

“Coordinating control programs with your neighbours is key, as a broadscale approach will result in a greater knock down being achieved,” Mr Marshall said.

“While rain is always welcomed, it means we should start thinking ahead now. So please, get in touch with LLS today.”

Controlling feral pigs remains a high priority for the NSW Government, as they can cause significant damage to environmentally sensitive areas and farming enterprises. Additionally, they can carry diseases including Brucellosis, leptospirosis and Q fever. 

The full report on the cost benefit analysis of feral pig control is available on the LLS website. Landholders wanting to be part of the coordinated effort to control feral pigs and learn how to free feed effectively for baiting should contact LLS on 1300 795 299.


Sign up to the Australian Rural & Regional News newsletter

Take our very short survey to tell us what you want from the
Australian Rural & Regional News newsletter

(opens in new tab)

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.