The board of the Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation of North Carolina has set the 2015 boll weevil assessment at $1 per acre of cotton, keeping the fee the same as in 2014.
The fee supports the foundation’s efforts to monitor cotton acreage in North Carolina for any re-introduction of the boll weevil and to respond promptly with eradication treatments if necessary.
“Cotton producers had a strong year in 2014, with record yields of 1,049 pounds per acre. The eradication of the boll weevil from the state in 1986 enabled cotton to return as one of our top crops,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Overall, the boll weevil assessment is an excellent investment for growers, ensuring any spot re-introductions of boll weevils in this state are identified and dealt with quickly.”
Foundation contractors will install and monitor traps from late summer until after harvest and frost. Because the focus of North Carolina’s program has shifted from eradication to monitoring, the number of traps in fields has decreased. As such, each trap is critical, and farmers are encouraged to contact the foundation if traps are damaged or knocked down.
Nearly 7,920 traps were placed and maintained in North Carolina last year, with each trap monitoring an average of 57.2 acres. To allow for trapping and monitoring, cotton growers are required to certify cotton acreage information with their local U.S. Farm Service Agency office by July 15.
Farmers in 53 counties grew 452,607 certified acres of cotton last year. The top three cotton-growing counties were Halifax, Northampton and Martin.
To learn more about the boll weevil monitoring program, go online to http://www.ncagr.gov/plantindustry/plant/entomology/BW.htm.