Pigs Instead of Pesticides

Posted on April 20, 2008  Comments (9)

photos of pigs in an orchard

Apple Farmers Use Pigs Instead of Pesticides

Jim Koan has a 120-acre apple farm in Flushing, MI. Plagued by the Plum Curculio Beetle that lays its eggs in apples and makes the fruit drop too early from trees, Koan could have used frequent sprays of pesticides for years to get rid of the beetles, or he could use pigs. He tried chickens and guineas, but they weren’t hard enough workers and the guineas were taken away by hawks. He contemplated sheep, too, but in the end, hard-working pigs, too big for any hawk or coyote to steal, were the best bet.

Now he has a group of pigs who shuffle through the orchards when the apples infected with beetles start to fall. They eat the apples and the eggs that would have spelled disaster for next year’s crop, and clear the ground and eat weeds in the process. The pigs make short work of an apple orchard, eating every last contaminated apple. Once the pigs have solved the beetle problem, Koan plans to sell them as organic pork.

Very nice. I like the idea of reducing the use of chemicals in general and it is especially nice when the solution shows that one person’s problem is a pig’s food.

via: It’s the Only One We Have, where the photo is from also

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9 Responses to “Pigs Instead of Pesticides”

  1. No name provided
    April 22nd, 2008 @ 7:40 pm

    Great article! It really good to hear a story about how people are finding nature pest control methods. The Pigs will also provide a good natural fertilizer for the apple trees!

    Great Blog.

  2. The Bucky-Gandhi Design Institution » Pigs as insecticide
    April 25th, 2008 @ 4:42 am

    Monoculture is stupid. Throw rocks at it…

  3. stefan
    May 26th, 2008 @ 6:31 pm

    Wow, pigs sound like a great alternative to pesticide. We have a couple of acres here in Rincon Puerto Rico and I work at least 20 hours a week cutting down the weeds and vines from the property surrounding our house. We don’t want to use pesticides either. We thought about goats, but I think they eat good and bad plants, we have mango trees, but I don’t think they’ll drop enough fruit to feed pigs. I think we are going to go with a few Mini-Donkeys after we fence off about an acre…do you have any thoughts that might help us out?

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    September 7th, 2008 @ 8:32 pm

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  5. Dan
    May 16th, 2009 @ 11:33 pm

    I’m in Michigan and he is thinking along the right path. Natural insecticides and alternative pest control is the way to go. In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (Yooperland), we also have a natural freeze that takes place which is natures ultimate insecticide!

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    May 20th, 2009 @ 9:37 pm

    “Problems with the herbicide emerged late last year, when some commercial potato growers reported damaged crops. In response, Dow launched a campaign within the agriculture industry to ensure that farmers were aware of how the products should be used…”

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    May 20th, 2009 @ 9:39 pm

    “Once farmers grasp the concept that their ‘winged’ neighbours can help to solve rodent damage if they stop using poisons, Barn Owls and Kestrels will be able to rise to the occasion and control rodents…”

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    April 14th, 2011 @ 8:34 am

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