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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, JAN. 29, 2007


Contact: Dr. Lane Kreitlow, entomologist
NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division
(919) 733-6932, ext. 237

N.C. boll weevil assessment fee for 2007 is $2.50 per acre

RALEIGH – North Carolina’s boll weevil assessment for 2007 will be set at $2.50 per acre, a decrease over last year’s fee. The grower assessment is needed in order to protect the cotton crop against the highly destructive boll weevil.

The fee supports the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Plant Industry Division’s intensive trapping and monitoring program to detect any re-introductions of the boll weevil.

“Cotton production in the state has increased dramatically since the boll weevil was eradicated in 1986. In fact, it now represents the third largest crop for our farmers,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Ongoing trapping and monitoring efforts have provided farmers protection from random introduction of weevils through the years, and we must keep up these efforts. We have been able to respond quickly whenever weevils have been found in the state to prevent this highly destructive pest from spreading. It is a program that has proven to be an effective control measure.”

The Plant Industry Division, in cooperation with the Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation of North Carolina, implements the program in the state. Private contractors install and maintain the traps, with trapping beginning in late summer and ending after harvest and frost.

A total of 61,985 traps were placed and maintained on 35,360 cotton fields in 60 counties last year. 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 1.

The top three cotton-producing counties in the state are Northampton, Halifax and Martin. In 2005, North Carolina posted its second-highest cotton yield ever with an average harvest of 852 pounds per acre. The state ranks sixth in the nation in cotton production.

To learn more about the NCDA&CS boll weevil program, go to www.ncagr.com/plantind/plant/entomol/BW.htm

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NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Brian Long, Director
Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3001; FAX: (919) 733-5047