Survey: Illinois farmers worry about feral hog population

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) – A new study of Illinois farmers has found that they are worried about property damage caused by feral hogs.

Researchers from the Illinois Natural History Survey said Monday that they reviewed surveys from more than 3,000 Illinois farmers. The study found that 84 percent of the surveyed farmers in Illinois agree that feral hogs should be eliminated whenever possible.

Feral hogs were once only in the southern U.S. but have spread and are now in 12 Illinois counties, most in the southern part of the state. Survey scientist Craig Miller says the animals are known to damage soil and water quality and destroy agricultural crops.

The survey found farmers trapping and eliminating the hogs instead of hunting them. Miller says that’s because hunters may hit one or two hogs and the rest scatter.