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Boll Weevil Eradication

“Since we’ve had the Boll Weevil Eradication Program, we’ve made more of a top crop, more cotton in the top than we used to make. Used to, we would spend a lot of money fighting the boll weevils through the year, and by the end of the growing season, you just couldn’t afford to keep fighting the boll weevils and they would take the top anyway.”

JIMMY KILLEBREW SAYS WAITING FOR THE COTTON ON TOP OF THE PLANT TO MATURE, COUPLED WITH ALL OF THE SUMMER RAIN WE RECEIVED, MADE THIS YEAR’S CROP EVEN LATER.

“A lot of us didn’t get finished picking until November, and we were supposed to have our stalks destroyed by the end of October, so it’s just prolonged it, and we have to get the stalks plowed out or killed to make them non-hostable for the boll weevil.”

COTTON FARMERS WANT AS FEW BOLL WEEVILS TO OVER-WINTER AS POSSIBLE.

“The weevils, they hibernate, more or less. They’ll go into the woods and find cover and come out in the spring, but right now we just haven’t had any cold weather to talk of, so they’re still out there feeding and until we have a frost, it’s going to be hard to get rid of these cotton plants without some dry weather to get in these fields to mechanically destroy them.”

THE CONSISTANT SUMMER RAINS MADE IT HARD TO GET INTO COTTON FIELDS TO MONITOR BOLL WEEVIL TRAPS.

“We probably let some boll weevils get by that needed to be sprayed, but they had no way of really knowing it.”

BUT KILLEBREW SAYS THERE’S NO COMPARISON BETWEEN BOLL WEEVIL NUMBERS PRIOR TO THE ERADICATION EFFORT.

“When they first started trapping boll weevils for the program, the counts were real high, and now you know, it’s very few boll weevils they catch.”

AS YOU CAN SEE, A FARMER’S WORK DOESN’T END AT HARVEST. I’M JOE BROWN, TRACING THE JOURNEY OUR FOOD AND FIBER MAKES, FROM THE GROUND UP.


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