Feral hogs, mesquite trees discussed at USDA meeting - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Feral hogs, mesquite trees discussed at USDA meeting

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

HOBART, OK (KSWO) - Experts with the United States Department of Agriculture stopped in Hobart Tuesday to speak with local farmers about some of the things negatively impacting their property.

Tuesday was just one of several meetings the USDA has had with farmers all across the state. Besides telling them about several different programs available to assist them, they also informed them of the best ways to handle two huge problems in their industry: Feral Hogs and the overgrowth of Mesquite trees.

David Hungerford with the Natural Resource Conservation Service said the events they put on across Oklahoma are all about education.

"Among our common people there's not a big percentage that farm anymore but everything we have comes from the soil,” Hungerford said. “So, it's important that everyone understands that but it's also important that we give all the information and all the help we can to local ag producers so they can protect what they have and grow crops so we have everything we have."

Part of that information included the population of feral pigs in Oklahoma, which has skyrocketed in recent years. Scott Alls with the United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services said they are now a problem nearly every Oklahoma farmer has to deal with.

"The population 10 years ago was estimated to be at one million plus and that number is probably close to 1.5 or two million pigs in the state of Oklahoma,” Alls said. “The damage they do affects wheat farmers, dairy farmers, corn, all types of agriculture. In pastures and hay fields, a lot of damage to those."

Alls spoke on the best ways to catch them and said the best way to solve the problem is to keep it simple.

"We've all heard pigs are smart, they aren't that smart but they're highly trainable,” Alls said. “You can train them to be scared to death of you. What we try to emphasize is when you implement a trapping program is to take all the negative pressure off them. Where all you are doing is feeding them, the pigs depend on you and then you shut the door on them."

Hogs weren't the only item on the agenda as there was also a presentation on killing mesquite, a species of tree that Range and Pasture Consultant Rob Cook said takes over the grasslands that livestock feed on. Cook offered several chemical and mechanical ways to kill mesquite but said they aren't foolproof and it's a very hard tree to get completely rid of.

"It's a resprouter so if you just knock the top off it at the ground level or above, it will re-sprout and re-grow so it becomes very costly to manage,” Cook said. “It's also a very prolific seed producer so there are also many new seedlings that come up each year."

Hungerford said events like Tuesday’s are the best way they've found to get out the information. It gives them a chance to speak one-on-one with ag producers and answer any questions they may have.

Copyright 2017 KSWO. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • The Latest: Barbara Bush buried at presidential library

    The Latest: Barbara Bush buried at presidential library

    Saturday, April 21 2018 10:44 AM EDT2018-04-21 14:44:47 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 8:27 PM EDT2018-04-22 00:27:25 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Attendees arrive at St. Martin's Episcopal Church for a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush, Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Houston.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Attendees arrive at St. Martin's Episcopal Church for a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush, Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Houston.

    Guests have begun to arrive at St. Martin's Church in Houston for the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush.

    Guests have begun to arrive at St. Martin's Church in Houston for the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush.

  • Laughter, tears as former first lady Barbara Bush remembered

    Laughter, tears as former first lady Barbara Bush remembered

    Saturday, April 21 2018 12:04 AM EDT2018-04-21 04:04:04 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 8:27 PM EDT2018-04-22 00:27:13 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Mourners pause as former U.S. first lady Barbara Bush lies in repose during the visitation of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Friday, April 20, 2018, in Houston.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Mourners pause as former U.S. first lady Barbara Bush lies in repose during the visitation of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Friday, April 20, 2018, in Houston.

    As the outpouring of tributes continues for Barbara Bush, the general public can pay its respects to the former first lady.

    As the outpouring of tributes continues for Barbara Bush, the general public can pay its respects to the former first lady.

  • Trump says he doesn't think personal lawyer will 'flip'

    Trump says he doesn't think personal lawyer will 'flip'

    Saturday, April 21 2018 9:14 AM EDT2018-04-21 13:14:09 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 8:26 PM EDT2018-04-22 00:26:57 GMT
    (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File). FILE - In a Monday, April 16, 2018, file photo, Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, center, leaves federal court, in New York. Federal prosecutors said they can give President Donald Trump's person...(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File). FILE - In a Monday, April 16, 2018, file photo, Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, center, leaves federal court, in New York. Federal prosecutors said they can give President Donald Trump's person...

    President Donald Trump says he doesn't expect personal lawyer Michael Cohen to "flip" as the government investigates Cohen's business dealings.

    President Donald Trump says he doesn't expect personal lawyer Michael Cohen to "flip" as the government investigates Cohen's business dealings.

Powered by Frankly