The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today it is awarding $1.5 million to fund a pilot project to control feral swine in Mississippi and nine other states across the country.
These projects are part of the Feral Swine Eradication and Control Pilot Program (FSCP) – a joint 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 NRCS State Conservationist Kurt Readus. “By collaborating with our partners nationally and here in Mississippi 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 Delta Wildlife, Inc., on one pilot project in Mississippi to deliver NRCS funded assistance to producers for eradiation and control activities. Collaboration in the pilot area will provide outreach, training opportunities, trap distribution, monitoring and evaluation. Activities will also allow efforts to focus on their eradication and control of feral swine by educating landowners and providing tools/equipment that can be used after the project has ended.
NRCS, APHIS, and the Mississippi State Technical Agriculture Committee worked together to define the critical areas to be considered for projects within the state. The Mississippi pilot project runs from 2020 to 2022. Participating counties will consist of Issaquena, Sharkey, Warren, and Yazoo.
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. Awardees are required to provide at least 25 percent of the partnership agreement budget as a match to NRCS funding. APHIS is providing $23.3 million this year to the Wildlife Services programs located in the pilot project 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 NRCS’s feral swine control work can be found at nrcs.usda.gov/fscp.