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“AgriLife grant to support efforts to eradicate feral hogs in Matagorda County” by: Mike Reddell

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   An AgriLife grant of $14,200 will boost the $38,000 Matagorda County now spends in feral hog eradication, Extension Agent Aaron Sumrall told commissioners court at its regular meeting Monday.
   Sumrall said the grant that the court accepted Monday from Texas AgriLife Extension Service will focus on “different methods to go about this in the right way.”
   “Annual removal of feral hogs from the agricultural landscape is a more average of 200 feral hogs per year,” according to documents part of the AgriLife grant to Matagorda County.
   AgriLife contends that feral hogs threaten the county’s annual $40 million turf grass production.
   “Feral hogs are increasing the frequency and intensity of destruction of sod farms.”
   Trapping isn’t used presently because there aren’t enough people to attend the traps, the documents indicate.
   The reports indicate that livestock and forage producers also have increased losses from feral hogs.
   And, feral hogs are blamed for an increasing amount of bacterial contamination in many Matagorda County waterways.
   Sumrall said that under the grant all materials will be purchased locally.
   FFA students in the Tidehaven, Bay City, Palacios and Van Vleck school districts will build catch gates for the traps used in the grant program, Sumrall told the court.

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