Testimony To Resume Today in 'Boll Weevil War' Trial

APRIL 2, 2004 - Posted at 7:13 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - After a month-long hiatus, a trial resumes today with testimony from State Plant Board witnesses defending a program that forces farmers to pay for removing boll weevils.

The trial ran for two days last month before it was suspended by the judge because of scheduling conflicts.  The plant board is expected to finish presenting its defense during today's session.

A lawsuit brought by farmers challenges the plant board's decision to force them into a boll weevil eradication program.  The farmers voted against participation on five occasions.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Jay Moody is hearing the case without a jury.  Moody has ruled the farmers can be drafted into the program, and now the judge is considering whether they should be forced to pay for it.

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