COTTON PRODUCERS in the three-county ridge area of northeast Arkansas have approved a boll weevil eradication. The program will also include a portion of a fourth county, Poinsett County west of the St. Francis River, which approved a program several years ago. The area represents about 120,000 acres of cotton.

According to Doug Ladner with the Arkansas Boll Weevil Eradication Program, 73.9 percent of the ballots returned were in favor of the program. Sixty-six percent is required for approval. The program will begin with a fall diapause program in the fall of 2001.

"We're going to start working with them, get out a newsletter and hopefully get a lot of input on hot sites and that type of thing, Ladner said."

Ladner said that 407 ballots were returned, with 301 in favor of eradication. Clay County had 161 positive votes out of 187 total, for 86 percent; Craighead had 77 positive votes out of 138 for 55.8 percent; and Greene County had 63 positive votes out of 82, for 76.8 percent.

The eradication program will assess growers $110 per acre over five years, $15 the first year, followed by $25, $24, $24 and $22.