The board of the Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation of North Carolina has set the boll weevil assessment for 2010 at $1.25 per acre of cotton. The amount is unchanged from 2009.

The fee supports the foundation’s efforts to monitor cotton acreage for any re-introduction of the boll weevil and to respond promptly with eradication treatments if necessary.

“We have been successful in keeping boll weevils from returning to North Carolina cotton fields through the trapping and monitoring program this assessment pays for,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “In the past, early detection of minor re-introductions has kept the boll weevil from spreading in any significant way, and we want to keep it that way.”

The boll weevil was eradicated in North Carolina in 1986.

Contractors will install and monitor traps from late summer until after harvest and frost. Because the focus of North Carolina’s program has shifted from eradication to monitoring, farmers should anticipate the number of traps in fields will decrease. As such, each trap will be critical, and farmers are encouraged to contact the foundation if traps are damaged or knocked down.

More than 7,200 traps were placed and maintained in North Carolina in 2009, with each trap monitoring an average of 51 acres. Farmers in 55 counties grew more than 373,600 certified acres of cotton last year. Counties with the highest acreage were Halifax, Northampton and Martin.

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 June 30.