Ben Curley shows attendees how a feral pig trap is used.
Ben Curley shows attendees how a feral pig trap is used. Contributed

Feral pig day aims to help region's macadamia nut farmers

LOCAL macadamia nut farmers received practical information and advice to help them deal with problem feral pigs as part of a "feral pig field day" held at Ridgewood recently.

In south-east Queensland this season, feral pigs have eaten their way through an estimated $500,000 worth of orchard macadamia nuts.

Health and Environment Portfolio Councillor, Cr Wayne Sachs, said the event aimed to provide accurate information and advice to farmers about feral pig control and exclusion options, while uniting stakeholders in an effort to develop a co-ordinated response.

"Developed by Gympie Regional Council in partnership with Suncoast Gold Macadamias, the field day was all about sharing experiences, information and working together to minimise the impacts of feral pigs," Cr Sachs said.

"Biosecurity Queensland officers were on hand to discuss control options, with proved exclusion fencing, pig traps and Hog Hopper bait stations among items available for farmers to inspect."

The feral pig field day was developed by council's lands protection manager Ben Curley and Suncoast Gold Macadamias' grower services manager Brice Kaddatz.

Attendees included about thirty local macadamia nut farmers, Fraser Coast, Gympie and Sunshine Coast council officers, Biosecurity Queensland officers and representatives from HQ Plantations, and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, which manage large state forest and national park land tenures near some of the affected farms.

Cr Sachs said the plan was to assist farmers as they prepared for next season's harvest.

"The industry is important economically to the region and feral pigs have been having a significant negative impact," he said.

"Council is committed to helping affected farmers ... "

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