Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation of Georgia

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About BWEF of GA

The Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation of Georgia, Inc. (BWEF of GA, Inc.) is a non-profit organization which was incorporated for the purpose of implementing and administering a boll weevil eradication, suppression, and containment program in the established eradication zones within the State of Georgia where eradication efforts were to be undertaken.
The boll weevil, scientific name (Anthonomus grandis), prior to the eradication efforts was the main pest of cotton.

The Boll Weevil

The boll weevil can range from 1/8 to 1/3 inch in length and the color varies due to the age. Young adult weevils are reddish in color and are soft. Within a day, they begin to change to a grayish brown and the shell hardens. The thin, slightly curved snout is about half the length of the body. The boll weevil has two spurs (or they may be called teeth) toward the end of the front femur (the inner being longer than other). There is also one spur (or tooth) on the middle femur. The wings are smooth and close fitting and have fine lines running parallel that have a fuzz or grayish coat. On the back of the head it may appear to have a white stripe (this may not appear on all boll weevils).

Annual Meeting Notice (2/18/20)

The board of directors for the Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation of Georgia, Inc. is comprised of six cotton producers in the state and one Georgia Department of Agriculture employee as the regulatory member.

Administrative Staff

Alan Lowman, Executive Director 

Board Members

Bart Davis, Chairman

Austin Warbington

Ronald Lovell, Secretary/Treasurer

Chuck Lee

John Ruark

Mike Lucas

Mike Evans, Regulatory Member, GA Dept. of Agriculture

A History of Purpose

The boll weevil was thought to have migrated from Mexico and appeared in Brownsville, Texas in 1892. It first appeared in Thomas County, GA in 1914. After years of battling the boll weevil, it was about to put the farmers out of business if something did not change. Growers voted on a referendum in 1985 to eradicate the boll weevil, but it did not pass. A second vote on the referendum passed at the end of 1986. In July 1987, federal cost-share funds had become accessible and a cooperative agreement was signed between BWEF of GA, Inc. and the Southeastern Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation, Inc. (SEBWEF).
The eradication efforts were successful due to the intense trapping and pesticide treatments of fields. The Georgia Program went into post-eradication stage in 1994. The Georgia Boll Weevil Program is funded 100% by the Georgia cotton producers. The current function and duties of the program are to place traps on cotton fields to continue to monitor for boll weevils since the United States is not completely eradicated.
In 2005, BWEF of GA, Inc.’s Board of Directors voted to withdraw their membership from SEBWEF and begin operating their own state program. Georgia cotton farmers have invested in excess of 148 million dollars in assessments since the inception of the program to eradicate the boll weevil. The process in the collection of assessments started with the producer intending their acreage at the ASCS/FSA office and then return to certify and pay the per acre assessment. In 2010, due to changes brought about by USDA, the assessments began being collected on a per bale assessment and paid to the Boll Weevil Program by the gins.
Although Georgia is in post-eradication, Texas and Mexico are still trying to eradicate the boll weevil. With cotton equipment moving from state to state and vehicles visiting non-eradicated areas, there is always a possibility of a boll weevil getting back into Georgia. This is why it is very important that all cotton fields continue to be trapped and monitored according to program guidelines. It is also mandated by USDA that any state producing/harvesting cotton have a program in place to monitor for the boll weevil. The Program’s goal is to set traps and monitor for the boll weevil and if a boll weevil was to enter into Georgia, it be detected at an early stage minimizing the spread of weevils and the area requiring insecticide spraying.