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Growing feral pig population drives Gympie farmer nuts

Les Gain in the trap that has caught four feral pigs in two months on his Amamoor farm.
Les Gain in the trap that has caught four feral pigs in two months on his Amamoor farm. Renee Pilcher

FERAL pigs continue to rise in numbers and eat their way through farm profits in the Gympie region.

Local macadamia farmers are losing $500,000 a year in lost nuts.

A feral fauna forum held in the Gympie Civic Centre last week heard that syndicates of landholders using a combination of control programs including shooting, trapping, baiting and dogging were the best way to keep pig numbers down.

Amamoor macadamia farmer Les Gain has been farming for 21 years and is battling a worsening feral pig problem.

Last year he lost three tonne of nuts to the pigs, and this year he lost four tonne. His total harvest was 14 tonne. At $3000 a tonne, that is significant lost income.

Mr Gain cannot use 1080 to bait the pigs because the large number of properties within a 2km radius of his farm makes it too difficult to get the required amount of support.

But he is working with some of his neighbours to tackle the problem together. The pig trap he borrowed from one neighbour two months ago has already caught four pigs.

Wild dogs and deer are also a growing problem near Amamoor.

"We are trying to look at getting the whole community involved in the whole thing," Mr Gain said yesterday.

"Then maybe we have got some chance of tackling it all."

Topics:  crops farmer feral pigs gympie macadamia

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