FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, MARCH 15, 2010
Dr. Lane Kreitlow, staff entomologist
NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division
(919) 733-6932, ext. 237
NCDA&CS must monitor all cotton for boll weevil,
even if plants are ornamental
RALEIGH — Homeowners often plant cotton to add beauty to their landscape. But all cotton plants, whether ornamental or commercial, must be monitored by the state for the presence of boll weevil.
The cotton boll weevil has been one of the most economically damaging agricultural pests since its introduction into the United States from Mexico in the late 19th century. By the 1920s, the boll weevil had infested all cotton-growing areas of the United States, virtually devastating the industry. Since that time, great measures have been taken to eradicate this pest from the country. North Carolina eradicated the boll weevil in 1986 and has remained weevil-free.
However, because not all states are boll weevil-free, the threat of reintroduction is constant, so continuous monitoring is essential. The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, in conjunction with the Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation of North Carolina, monitors all commercial cotton fields in North Carolina. Cotton grown for ornamental purposes must also be monitored.
Cotton assessment fees are $1.25 per acre, but anything less than an acre is monitored at no cost. Homeowners wishing to grow ornamental cotton in North Carolina must obtain a compliance agreement from the NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division. For additional information or to obtain a cotton compliance agreement and set up monitoring, please contact Renee Clements at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-733-6930, ext. 211.
Ornamental cotton is often grown as a landscape plant or as an education tool for school children.