The National Cotton Council's Boll Weevil Action Committee voted to support the development of a federal quarantine to protect weevil-free zones in the Cotton Belt from possible re-infestation.

“The program would likely be implemented in post-eradication, around 2005-06,” said the NCC's Frank Carter. The recommendation was made during the committee's fall meeting, Oct. 3, in Memphis.

The quarantine would require cleaning of any “cotton articles” that move from a weevil-infested zone through or to weevil-free zones. Cotton articles include equipment, seed cotton and cotton products.

“The quarantine will be drafted through the federal register process and will be posted for public comment. The process takes 18 months to two years to get through the federal systems,” Carter said.

The committee, which consists of 18 cotton producers, also made recommendations on how any federal eradication funds will be allocated among cotton-producing states this coming year.

Complicating the process is the delay in moving the appropriations process through Congress. Funds could range from $34 million to $79 million, the amounts proposed in the House and Senate, respectively. “The allocation could be in that range, but it could be a lot less. We don't know,” said Carter.

The committee decided to base its recommendations on a $79 million federal allocation, according to Carter. “We feel like we need that much. Our total program estimated cost next year is going to be $255 million. We've tried hard to get a 30 percent cost-share (from the government).”

The committee heard requests from individual state needs for funding, including debt retirement, according to Carter. After those needs were met, the remaining funds were divided among participating states on a pro-rated share of expected operating costs.

Part of the allocation will go to five new eradication programs, and possibly three more, according to Carter. The five are: the Missouri Bootheel, the northeast ridge in Arkansas, and south Blacklands, southern High Plains Caprock, northern High Plains in Texas.

The new eradication programs push the total number of acres under active weevil eradication to about 10 million acres, compared to 7.5 million in 2000.

If three other zones — the upper Coastal Bend, northern Blacklands in Texas and the northeast Delta region in Arkansas — begin eradication within a year, only two zones — the lower Rio Grande Valley and the St. Lawrence area of Texas — would not be participating in eradication.

Last year's hard winter appears to have helped pare down the program's insecticide costs, noted Carter. “We were anticipating a shortage of malathion ULV at this time of the year. But as of mid-August, we were at about 50 percent of what we expected to use for the year.”


e-mail: erobinson@primediabusiness.com

Status of Boll Weevil Eradication Programs
National Cotton Council — September 20, 2001
Region Status Acres
Post Eradication Start Date Program year
VA-NC-SC-GA-FL-S.AL Fall '78 thru '87 Completed 3,925,000
CA-AZ-NW.Mexico Fall '83 thru '87 Completed 1,000,000
C.AL-N.AL-M.TN Fall '93 & '94 Confirmation 225,000
TX - Southern Rolling Plains Fall '94 Completed 350,000
Sub Total: 5,500,000
Active Programs
TX - South Texas/Winter Garden Fall '96 6 400,000
TX - Central Rolling Plains Fall '96 6 700,000
Mississippi - East & Central Fall '97 5 440,000
LA - Red River & SW Arkansas Fall '97 5 138,000
MS - South Delta Fall '98 4 190,000
Tennessee - SW Fall '98 4 200,000
Oklahoma Fall '98 4 380,000
New Mexico - Luna Co./Mesilla Valley Fall '98 4 35,000
Arkansas - Southeastern Fall '99 3 325,000
Louisiana - East Fall '99 3 735,000
MS - North Delta Fall '99 3 530,000
TX - Western High Plains Fall '99 3 850,000
TX - Northwest Plains Fall '99 3 600,000
TX - Permian Basin Fall '99 3 800,000
TX - El Paso/Trans Pecos Fall '99 3 60,000
TX - Northern Rolling Plains Fall '99 3 400,000
Arkansas - Central Fall '00 2 217,000
Tennessee Northwest Fall '00 2 400,000
New Mexico - Pecos Valley Fall '00 2 20,000
Missouri Fall '01 1 450,000
Ark - NE Ridge Fall '01 1 125,000
TX - So. Blacklands Fall '01 1 200,000
TX - Southern HP/Caprock Fall '01 1 1,114,000
TX - Northern High Plains Fall '01 1 600,000
New Mexico - (Roosevelt & Curry Co.) Fall '01 1 25,000
Sub Total: 9,934,000
Passed Referenda
Future Votes Vote Sub Total:
Projected Start
TX - St Lawrence Zone passed
Assessment failed 130,000
Ark - NE Delta To be Determined 360,000
TX - Lower Rio Grande Valley To Be Determined 185,000
TX - 7 Co. Upper Gulf Coast To Be Determined 270,000
TX - N. Blklands To Be Determined 100,000
Sub Total: 1,045,000
Program Year Descriptions:
Year 1 = Fall applications of malathion beginning in August or September on nearly 100% of acres
Year 2 = Full season pheromone trapping and malathion treatments on 70 to 90% of acres during spring, mid season and fall
Year 3 = Same as year 2, but 20 to 30% acres treated based on pheromone trap detections
Year 4 = Same as year 2, but 10 to 20% acres treated based on pheromone trap detections
Years 5&6 = Eradication Confirmation Stage with continued pheromone trapping, selected treatments on 1 to 10% of the acres
Years 7&8 = Post Eradication Stage; Reduce trapping density; respond to any re-infestations