October 6, 2006
The Texas Department of Agriculture is reminding cotton harvesters that equipment moving into zones declared suppressed or functionally eradicated of boll weevils must be free and clean of all cottonlint and plant materialand boll weevils to help reduce the risk of reinfesting areas that have eliminated the destructive cotton pest.
"Producers in suppressed or functionally eradicated zones should also be on the lookout for any dirty equipment that moves through the area or onto their property," said David Kostroun, TDA's assistant commissioner for regulatory programs. "Texas is beginning to win the war against the boll weevil, and this added precaution will help protect cotton farmers who have devoted their time and effort over the years to eradicate the boll weevil."
TDA inspectors are conducting road station inspections across the state on the lookout for dirty cotton equipment.
Any dirty equipment will be turned back and must be cleaned outside of the protected zone. Plus, the equipment owner may be subject to a fine of up to $5,000 per violation.
Because of the success of the Texas program, all cotton-growing areas in the state are under some form of boll weevil eradication. The functionally eradicated areas are Rolling Plains Central and Southern Rolling Plains. The suppressed zones are Panhandle, Northwest Plains, Northern High Plains, Northern Rolling Plains, Southern High Plains/Caprock, Western High Plains, Permian Basin and El Paso/Trans Pecos.
Cotton harvesters can contact TDA's Austin headquarters at (800) TELL-TDA for more information on scheduling an inspection.