Date of this Version
Crop Protection 150 (2021) 105793
This research investigates the impacts of invasive wild pigs (Sus scrofa Linneaus) on agricultural producers in Texas, with the aim of identifying and describing all categories of wild pig impacts and quantifying the extent of producers’ over- or underestimation of their total wild pig-related costs in 2018, as compared to calculations based upon data subsequently provided by the producers about individual wild pig-related costs and losses. Based on interviews with 23 producers in 16 Texas counties, we identified more than 20 discrete categories of negative impacts and negligible positive impacts associated with wild pigs. Among them were categories that have not been described or included in previously published economic estimates of wild pig impacts on producers, such as (i) additional time and fuel expenses incurred at harvest on account of damaged fields, (ii) reduced yield on replanted crops following wild pig damage, (iii) loss of arable land due to erosion caused by wild pigs, (iv) reduced livestock weight conversion, and (v) increased livestock depredation by coyotes on account of damage to fencing caused by wild pigs (a more speculative impact). We also found that participants underestimated their total costs associated with wild pig impacts by a factor of nearly three, and the extent of underestimation was even greater among crop producers (4.6), largely because of unconsidered opportunity costs. With these findings, we call attention to the need for economic estimates that better capture the full range of costs imposed on agricultural producers by wild pigs.
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