No boll weevils detected in Virginia, VDACS says

Posted at 9:18 PM, Dec 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-14 21:18:34-05

RICHMOND, Va. – Survey says… there are no boll weevils in Virginia.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) recently completed the 2018 cotton boll weevil trapping and announced that no boll weevils have been detected in the Commonwealth. VDACS oversees a monitoring program to make sure the weevil does not become established in the state.

In 2018, the agency installed 1,135 traps on 96,000 acres of cotton in Virginia. Not a single weevil was detected.

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

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The boll weevil, considered a destructive pest, was first detected in Virginia 1922. It had decimated American cotton by the 1960s.

Mississippi began the first boll weevil eradication program in 1971 with mixed success. Six years later, Virginia and North Carolina began an eradication program that was highly successful, moving gradually from the East Coast across the Cotton Belt.

Cotton enjoyed a renaissance in the following years, and by the early 1990s Virginia farmers planted enough acres in cotton to support several cotton gins in the Commonwealth. Virginia currently has cotton gins in Emporia, Franklin, Suffolk and Windsor.

Related: It’s officially the worst year ever for West Nile virus in Virginia 

Virginia is the northernmost cotton growing state in the U.S. In 2016, cotton was the 14th largest agricultural commodity in the state with farm cash receipts of $36 million.