Feral hog populations could threaten already tight hay supplies in Missouri

Missouri’s feral hog population is creating additional challenges for the state’s cattle producers.

Kevin Crider is a feral hog outreach educator with the University of Missouri Extension.  “Feral hogs and cattle operations do not mix,” he says.  “The reason is feral hogs are notorious rooters. They will root up a hay field in a matter of hours. If you have a large enough group of hogs, then that hay field is out of production.”

Hay stocks in Missouri are already tight as drought conditions continue and yields have been impacted.  He tells Brownfield that feral hogs can make a bad situation even worse.  “I’ve actually got the cooperators and land owners that I’ve worked with that have had to sell off up to 30 cow-calf pairs because they didn’t have the hay to feed their cattle,” he says. 

Crider says resources are available at no cost for Missouri’s farmers and ranchers to help eliminate the invasive species. “That way we can get a trapper out there, and elimination specialist to scout the property, look at the damage, start baiting operations, and get a camera and see how many feral hogs we’re dealing with,” he says.  “We can then get the process started to get those out of there.”

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