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Four boll weevil zones debt repaid, assessments to be lowered

Boll weevil eradication was a very touchy subject a decade ago and, as High Plains zones were being voted on in 1999 thru 2001, naysayers chided grower committees accusing, "our grandchildren will still be paying off debt and we'll never see assessments lowered."

Those taunts are proving ill-founded as Boll Weevil Grower Committees have met these past few weeks in the Northwest Plains, Northern High Plains, Southern High Plains and Panhandle Zones.

Each of these zones have demonstrated the success of the boll weevil eradication program and have now totally eliminated their debt, many years ahead of schedule.

They are also each in the process of making recommendations to the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation board and to the Texas Commissioner of Agriculture that grower assessments in 2007 be dramatically reduced.

The Western High Plains Zone and the Permian Basin Zone have both been held back by the delayed entry into the eradication program of the St. Lawrence Zone to the south. However, with an active zone in that area now having been operational during the past three seasons the job of eliminating the boll weevil is well under way.

Announcements of the new assessment rates in each zone are expected in the next few weeks.

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