To qualify for the credit, farmers must certify the crop as failed with their local Farm Service Agency office by July 15, Foundation personnel said.

The Texas Commissioner of Agriculture has approved giving growers in the zone a full credit against the assessment for failed acres, provided all plants in the fields have been destroyed by the July 15 date, and the fields are kept free of cotton plants capable of supporting weevil feeding and reproduction for the remainder of the growing season. The policy is the same as the one in force during the 2002 growing season.

Foundation personnel will keep watch on failed fields to ensure they remain free of cotton and will report any field out of compliance to the farmer and to the Assessments Department in Abilene, officials said. Fields that have not been kept free of cotton throughout the growing season do not qualify for the credit.

Growers with questions about the failed-acre credit may contact their local boll weevil office or foundation Headquarters in Abilene.

The Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation is a nonprofit, grower-initiated and funded organization dedicated to eliminating the cotton boll weevil from the state in the most cost-effective and environmentally responsible manner possible.

e-mail: flaws@primediabusiness.com