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March 16, 2010   Email to Friend 

Darryal Ray
(334) 613-4187
March 16, 2010

Wild hogs cause extensive property damage and threaten other wildlife.
AUBURN, Ala. -- Landowners in 10 Alabama counties have until March 24 to apply for financial assistance to control feral swine on their property, according to Steve Musser, assistant state conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service office in Auburn.

The program, made available through the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP), seeks to aid landowners in trapping and properly disposing of wild swine in Baldwin, Covington, Coffee, Crenshaw, Dale, Geneva, Lowndes, Macon, Mobile and Wilcox counties.

A total of $89,000 is available for these counties. While this is a continuous signup, applications for 2010 funding must be received by the cut-off date.

Qualified landowners will be reimbursed $500 for each trap installed to NRCS specifications. There is a limit of two traps per landowner. Socially disadvantaged, beginning and limited-resource farmers and ranchers will receive $600 for each trap installed according to specifications.

Feral or wild swine have been sighted in most of Alabama's 67 counties, and cause significant damage to property, destroying native plants and habitats, creating erosion problems, degrading water quality, transmitting disease to domestic livestock and destroying seedlings and young trees.

Feral sows can begin breeding at six months of age, and produce up to four litters per year with each litter consisting of four to 12 piglets.

"This program concern is the result of a coordinated effort between the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Alabama Department of Conservation and Fresh Water Fisheries, Alabama Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Alabama Wildlife Federation and Wildlife Service's of USDA," said Musser. "This group has worked to identify a serious problem and to provide practical solutions to landowners."

Interested producers should visit the nearest USDA Service Center to determine eligibility. Individuals are not eligible for WHIP until they have completed the Farm Bill eligibility requirements. Contact the local NRCS or Farm Service Agency Office to begin this process. NRCS field offices are listed in the telephone directory under U.S. Department of Agriculture or on-line at offices.sc.egov.usda.gov.

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