Indiana Agriculture Next Big Threat: Wild Pigs

State DNR officials and hunters are starting to get louder in the growing population of wild pigs in the state.

Hunters have told me that the wild pig population has moved and is heading towards central Indiana. They’ve also seen a few pigs do damage to 20 plus acres in just a few nights.

Here’s a photo of a field damaged by wild pigs

Here’s more information via and

He estimates wild pig depredation slams the U.S. economy with an annual multi-billion dollar bill, and roughly $1 billion of the total is exclusive to agriculture: “Recent research results suggest the prior published estimates of feral swine causing $1.5 billion in economic impacts are likely an understatement of actual damages, which could be as much as $2.5 billion annually.”

The staggering level of damage reflects consistent wild pig expansion (mainly attributable to illegal transport and release or enclosure escapes) over the past 30 years, from 19 states in 1985 to 39 states in 2016. Wild pigs are consistently on the cusp of a population explosion.

How does reproduction, intelligence and adaptability translate to actual feet on the ground? Mayer places the approximate U.S. wild pig population at 6.3 million, with an overall estimate between 4.4 million to 11.3 million. Prolific breeding demands 50 percent to 75 percent of a pig population must be killed each year to keep population numbers in check, a control rate that’s often impossible to achieve.

Estimating the wild hog population in Indiana is extremely hard due to their nature and choice of habitat, but current estimates run around 500. While the wild hog population is relatively small in Indiana, it has the potential for explosive growth.

As wild hog populations increase, food available for other game will decrease. Turkeys, ruffed grouse, deer, and countless other Indiana wildlife will not only be competing for food, they will become food for the hogs. Hunters and biologists find that as hogs move into an area the deer and turkey leave or disappear.

Of extra concern is the potential for devastation of Indiana’s agriculture, especially row and hay crops. Wild pigs carry many diseases that could potentially infect livestock (pigs and cattle)

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