Date of this Version
Engeman, R.M., J. Terry, L.R. Stephens, and K.S. Gruver. 2018. Prevalence and amount of feral swine damage to three row crops at planting. Crop Protection 112:252-256. doi: 10.1016/j.cropro.2018.06.010
Feral swine damage to corn, cotton and peanut crops at planting was assessed for 46 fields in Alabama. Damage was assessed on the basis of prevalence among fields and the quantity lost within each damaged field. Feral swine control by professionals dedicated to that task appeared to greatly reduce the prevalence of damage among fields, as the 14 fields which were within the areas where professional swine control operations took place were not damaged. For the 32 fields not receiving such protection, seven (21.9%) received some level of damage. Of those, 40% (four of 10) peanut fields, 15.4% (two of 13) cotton fields, and 11.1% (one of nine) corn fields were damaged. Damage levels were highly variable, both between and within crops. Losses were typically low <1.3%, but there were very notable exceptions where more substantial losses were incurred. One peanut field experienced a loss of 54.2% representing 32,401 kg of crop lost, valued at $15,779. Feral swine damage to freshly planted row crops has previously received little, if any, in-field quantification in the literature, with this study possibly being the first of its kind.