Arkansas Boll Weevil Eradication Program partners with Arkansas Department of Agriculture on pest survey
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT/Edited News Release) - The Arkansas Boll Weevil Eradication Program, the Arkansas cotton industry’s first line of defense against invasive pests, announced a new partnership with the Arkansas Department of Agriculture in conducting pest surveys across the state’s 32 cotton-producing counties.
The survey will help detect the presence of pest populations in vulnerable cotton fields that could be potentially detrimental to cotton production if left untreated.
Insights from this survey will inform the targeted implementation of necessary actions to eradicate any pests that are found before the crop is negatively impacted.
ABWEP is conducting the survey with training and supplies provided by the ADA.
“This is a great opportunity for ABWEP to work closely with the Department of Agriculture and prevent potential harm to cotton production in Arkansas,” said ABWEP Executive Director Regina Coleman. “Through this project, we are continuing our mission to serve growers and the state of Arkansas by protecting cotton production.”
The traps set in cotton fields will work to detect Old World bollworms, cotton cutworms, false codling moths, and cottonseed bugs. All these invasive pests originate outside of the U.S., in Asia, or Africa.
“The purpose of this survey is early detection,” said Arkansas Department of Agriculture Plant Industries Division Director and ABWEP board member Scott Bray. “The earlier you find a pest, the more options you have to eradicate it before it becomes a serious issue.”
This survey is made possible through a grant awarded to the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Cooperative Agriculture Pest Survey program by the United States Department of Agriculture.
The CAPS program conducts science-based surveys targeted at specific exotic and introduced plant pests identified as threats to U.S. agriculture or the environment.
ABWEP began eradication operations in Arkansas in 1997, making annual expansions that ultimately grew to include all cotton-producing areas in the state over time.
ABWEP successfully eradicated the boll weevil in Arkansas in 2008. Since then, ABWEP has continued to operate under a maintenance program monitoring the state for the presence of boll weevils, which is entirely a prevention effort.
Learn more about ABWEP and its mission at ABWEP.org. To learn more about the Arkansas Department of Agriculture, visit agriculture.arkansas.gov.
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