All cotton planted in the state, including cotton grown in ornamental gardens and other non-traditional locations must be registered with the state to be monitored for possible boll weevil presence.

State boll weevil eradication law provides that anyone who intends to plant cotton for non-commercial purposes must receive prior permission from the Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry.

“The state is officially boll weevil-free but we must monitor all cotton grown in the state to protect Louisiana’s cotton industry,” Commissioner Mike Strain said. “Boll weevil traps are set along the edges of cotton fields, but gardeners outside traditional cotton growing areas may plant cotton, for example, to spin their own thread for fabric. Gardeners may also grow cotton for its ornamental appeal. If so, we have to place a boll weevil trap nearby to be sure we preserve our boll weevil-free status.”

Historically, the boll weevil has been cotton’s most destructive pest.  All cotton-growing states have eradication programs.

Cotton remains one of Louisiana’s leading crops.  In 2011 more than 288,387 cotton acres wereharvested. The total value of the crop was set at $307 million.

For more information regarding planting of non-commercial or ornamental cotton, please contact the Louisiana Boll Weevil Eradication Program office at (225) 952-8105 or bollweevil@ldaf.state.la.us.