AUSTIN (AP) — Texas counties needing financial help controlling feral hogs are being encouraged to pair up and apply for $30,000 in grants.

The Texas Department of Agriculture on Tuesday announced the County Hog Abatement Matching Program, or CHAMP.

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Commissioner Todd Staples says feral hog control efforts need to be coordinated across public entities and private landowners. Individual Texas counties must partner with at least one other county also working on feral hog abatement.

Authorities set a July 1 application deadline. Selected applicants will get funding on a cost reimbursement basis. The projects require a minimum match of one dollar for every grant dollar requested, up to $30,000.

Texas has the nation’s largest feral hog population with nearly 2.6 million pigs. Experts blame the animals for about $500 million in statewide damage.

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