Weevil War Progresses

November 25, 2005 - 11:27 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK (AP) _ A federal farm official says the boll weevil
has been effectively eradicated on 80 percent of the land used to
grow that crop in the United States as of May,

The pest has long been the bane of cotton farmers across the

Bill Grefenstette is a national coordinator for boll weevil
eradication. He provided the assessment Monday to a gathering of
weevil-eradication experts who gathered at Little Rock.

The boll-weevil eradication efforts began in 1983, and programs
now operate in 17 states from Virginia to California. Officials
said 100 percent of the nation's cotton-producing areas now are
taking part in the effort.

The program is funded largely with an annual assessment
collected from cotton farmers, with about 20 percent of the money
coming from federal and state agencies.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)