Summary: For the sixth year in a row, the boll weevil assessment for cotton producers is set at 75 cents. The funding is used to monitor for any reintroductions of the destructive boll weevil and to quickly treat any that are found.
Today’s Topic with Southern Farm Network’s Mike Davis and Commissioner Troxler
- It is fair to say cotton production was a bright spot in 2022 when the final crop summary report was finalized in January this year.
- Last year cotton producers saw a record average yield of 1,043 pounds per acre, up 26 pounds per acre from last year.
- Harvested acres were around 460,000, also up 95,000 acres from 2021.
- And, production topped out at 1 million bales, which was 29 percent more than in 2021.
- One of the reasons cotton production remains a significant North Carolina commodity is because of the Boll Weevil eradication program.
- This year’s assessment for the Boll Weevil program was announced recently and remains at 75 cents per acre, the same rate it has been for the past five years.
- Farmers pay in an assessment fee which is used to monitor for and treat any reintroductions of the highly destructive boll weevil.
- North Carolina eradicated the boll weevil in the state in 1985 and have monitored and treated when needed since then to maintain its weevil-free status.
- This has been a highly effective program that has tackled boll weevil infestations on a regional basis.
- Without this program, we likely wouldn’t have much, if any, cotton in the South.
- Last year, 8,119 traps were placed and maintained in North Carolina with each trap monitoring an average of 56 acres.
- To allow for monitoring and trapping, cotton growers are required to certify cotton acreage with their local U.S. Farm Service Agency office by July 15.
- The top three cotton-producing counties are Halifax, Bertie and Northampton.
- The boll weevil eradication program has proven to be a great investment over time, and I appreciate growers support. We are not too far away from planting season now.