LUBBOCK, Texas - Ballots in the Panhandle Boll Weevil Zone Boll Weevil Eradication Referendum were canvassed and certified by Texas Department of Agriculture in Austin.

A total of 147 ballots had been mailed out, of which 102 were returned. The Canvassing Committee determined that 98 of the returned ballots were valid.

The results of the referendum were as follows:

Voting to establish a boll weevil eradication zone:

-- 91 ballots in favor. This represents 92.86% of those voting. -- 18,500 acres in favor. This represents 73.93% of the acres in the zone.

Voting on a $4 per acre assessment:

-- 91 ballots in favor. This represents 94.85% of those voting. -- 18,502 acres in favor. This represents 73.94% of the acres in the zone.

Keith Watson, of Dumas, was overwhelmingly elected as the director to represent the new zone on the Board of the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation.

Texas Commissioner of Agriculture Susan Combs certified the results confirming the establishment of an eradication zone in the 13 counties of Texas that comprise the Panhandle Zone.

Roger Haldenby writes for Plains Cotton Growers Inc.

e-mail: rsmith@primediabusiness.com