The board of the Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation of North Carolina has set the boll weevil assessment for 2011 at $1 per acre of cotton.
The amount is 25 cents less than the 2010 assessment.
The fee supports the foundation’s efforts to monitor cotton acreage for any re-introduction of the boll weevil and to respond promptly with eradication treatments if necessary.
“With cotton futures on the rise, farmers will certainly want to maximize their cotton yields this year,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “The boll weevil assessment is an excellent investment. We don’t want a return of these highly destructive pests in North Carolina, and the trapping and monitoring supported by this assessment helps ensure any spot re-introductions of boll weevils are quickly dealt with.”
The boll weevil was eradicated in North Carolina in 1986.
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, farmers should anticipate the number of traps in fields will decrease. As such, each trap will be critical, and farmers are encouraged to contact the foundation if traps are damaged or knocked down.
More than 9,400 traps were placed and maintained in North Carolina in 2010, with each trap monitoring an average of 57 acres. Farmers in 55 counties grew more than 541,542 certified acres of cotton last year. Counties with the highest acreage were Halifax, Northampton and Martin.
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 June 30.
To learn more about the boll weevil monitoring program, go online to http://www.ncagr.gov/plantindustry/plant/entomology/BW.htm.