No more cotton boll weevils in Virginia, according to survey

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weevil in a ball of cotton

weevil in a ball of cotton

VIRGINIA – There are no cotton boll weevils in Virginia, according to the 2016 survey completed by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service.

The pests were first detected in Virginia in 1922.

“By the 1960s, the weevils decimated American Cotton,” the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service said.

In 1977, Virginia and North Carolina began to successfully eradicate the boll weevils. The program gradually moved to states across the Cotton Belt.

In the early 1990s, Virginia farmers planted enough acres in cotton to support several cotton gins, including one on the Eastern Shore. Virginia now has gins in Emporia, Southampton County, Suffolk and Windsor.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service. oversees a program to ensure that the weevils do not reappear. This year, they installed 960 traps in about 71,500 acres of cotton in Virginia. No weevils were detected.

All cotton growers pay a per acre fee to fund the survey program.

“Virginia is the northern-most cotton growing state in the U.S. In 2014, cotton was the 13th largest agricultural commodity in Virginia with farm cash receipts of $72 million. Cottonseed, a by-product used in animal feed, was the 19th largest commodity with receipts of $11 million,” the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service said.