The USDA is accepting applications from non-federal, not-for-profit partners for projects to help agricultural producers and private landowners trap and control feral swine, which is part of the Feral Swine Eradication and Control Pilot Program. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service is making $12 million available and will accept applications through Nov. 5, in eight priority states during its second round of project funding.
FSCP is a joint effort between NRCS and USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The second round of funding is for partners to carry out activities as part of the identified pilot projects in select areas of Alabama, Hawaii, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas.
"The 2018 Farm Bill created this new pilot program to enable us to address threats to natural resources and agriculture posed by feral swine," says Kevin Norton, NRCS acting chief. "This second investment will play a crucial role in getting landowners assistance they need."
These new pilot projects and areas were selected in coordination with NRCS state conservationists, APHIS state directors and state technical committees to address feral swine issues and damage in areas with high densities.
Pilot projects consist broadly of three coordinated components: 1) feral swine removal by APHIS; 2) restoration efforts supported by NRCS; and 3) assistance to producers for feral swine control provided through partnership agreements with non-federal partners. Projects can be one to three years in duration and are planned to conclude at the end of fiscal year 2023 (Sept. 30, 2023).
The program was first announced in June 2019, and in the first round of funding, NRCS allocated almost $17 million for 20 projects across 10 states. Those projects will continue through the life of the 2018 Farm Bill in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas.