Northeast Arkansas Cotton Farmers Continue Battle with State Plant Board

MARCH 8, 2004 - Posted at 7:24 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A trial involving six northeast Arkansas cotton farmers and the state Plant Board continues today in Little Rock.  After numerous delays, the trial began Saturday with an attorney for the farmers arguing that his clients thought they had a right to vote on a pesticide program imposed by the board.  Attorney Allen Gates called the decision to force the farmers into the Arkansas Boll Weevil Eradication Program arbitrary.

A Plant Board attorney called Gates' argument an attempt to ignore a February decision in the case.  In that partial summary judgement, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Jay Moody ruled that the Plant Board had authority under state law to make the decision.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)