The Texas Department of Agriculture has established the 2002 assessment rate, due date and discount date for active zones in the boll weevil eradication program. Rates and payment deadlines vary with each zone, as do qualifying planting times and dates for certifying crop failure.

Growers with failed acres are eligible to receive a credit on those acres completely destroyed prior to the final certification date. Failed acres must remain free of all hostable cotton until a killing freeze to qualify for the credit.

The assessment for the El Paso/Trans Pecos Zone is $20 per land acre for conventional cotton and $10 per land acre for Bt cotton. To qualify for the $10 rate, growers should specify the amount of Bt cotton acreage planted when they certify their crop with the Farm Service Agency.

Assessment notices will be mailed by Aug. 12, and payment is due Sept. 16. Growers who pay by Septt. 1 are eligible to receive a 2 percent discount on their assessment.

The assessment for the Northern High Plains is $6 per dryland acre and $12 per irrigated land acre. Assessment notices will be mailed by Aug. 21, and payment is due Sept. 25. Growers who pay by Sept. 10 are eligible to receive the 2 percent discount.

The rate in the Northern Rolling Plains is $10 per dry row acre and $15 per irrigated row acre. Growers with failed acres are eligible to receive a credit of 50 percent of their assessment by July 15 on acres completely destroyed prior to the final certification date.

Assessment notices will be mailed by Sept. 4, and payment is due Oct. 8. Growers who pay by Sept. 23 are eligible to receive a 2 percent discount.

Northwest Plains growers will pay $5 per dryland acre and $12 per irrigated acre. Assessment notices will be mailed by Aug. 21, and payment is due Sept. 25. Growers who pay by Sept. 10 are eligible for the 2 percent discount.

Assessment rate for the Permian Basin Zone will be $6 per dryland and $12 per irrigated acre. Assessment notices will be mailed by Aug. 21, and payment is due Sept. 25. The discount, 2 percent, is available to farmers who pay by Sept. 10.

For the Rolling Plains Central Zone, assessment is set at $10 per land acre. Like last year, all cotton acres planted in the zone are subject to the assessment. Assessment notices will be mailed by Aug. 12, and payment is due Sept. 16. Growers who pay by Sept. 1 are eligible to receive the 2 percent discount.

The Southern Blacklands assessment rate is $12 per dryland acre and $27 per acre on irrigated land. Notices will be mailed by Aug. 12, and payment is due Sept. 16. Growers who pay by Sept.1 are eligible to receive the 2 percent discount.

The assessment for the Southern Rolling Plains Zone is 80 percent of the maximum assessment for the zone. The commissioner of agriculture approved the reduction based on the recommendation of the zone's grower steering committee and the foundation board of directors.

Like last year, all cotton acres planted in the zone are subject to the assessment. Notices will be mailed by Aug. 12, and payment is due Sept. 16. Sept. 1 is the cutoff for a 2 percent discount.

In the South Texas/Winter Garden zone, eradication will cost farmers $23.14 per acre. Growers should note that the final certification date is not uniform across the zone.

Assessment notices will be mailed by July 15, and payment is due Aug. 16. Growers who pay by Aug. 1 are eligible to receive the 2 percent discount.

A grower's referendum in the Upper Coastal Bend approved a $20.20 per acre assessment. The Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation bases assessments on information certified by growers to the Farm Service Agency by the final certification date for their area, June 17 in the UCB.

Assessment notices will be mailed by July 15, and the due date for paying the assessment is Aug.t 16 in the UCB. Failure to pay on time will result in late fees in the amount of 1.5 percent of the balance being charged to a grower's account. A 2 percent discount is available if the assessment is paid in full by Aug. 1.

As an example, if the assessment were $2,000 growers could deduct $40 from their bills if they pay by Aug. 1. Growers who forget to deduct the discount or don't wish to figure it, but who pay early, will receive a credit or refund on their accounts.

The assessment in the Western High Plains is $6 per dryland acre and $12 per irrigated acre. Notices will be mailed by Aug. 21, and payment is due Sept. 25. Growers who pay by September 10 are eligible to receive a 2 percent discount.

The assessment for 2002 in the Southern High Plains/Caprock is $6 per dryland acre and $12 per irrigated land acre. Assessment notices will be mailed by Aug. 21, and payment is due Sept. 25. Growers who pay by Sept. 10 are eligible to receive a 2 percent discount.

Growers who believe the information on their statements is incorrect need to contact FSA and make sure the information the agency has is accurate. If those records are in error, growers should have FSA update their records and send the Foundation a correction.

Growers must ask the agency to send the correction to the Foundation, or it will not know about the changes.

General unpredictability of the weather means some growers may not be able to produce a crop.

Growers with failed acres are eligible to receive a credit on those acres completely destroyed before the zone's diapause treatments begin. Destruction of hostable material and keeping the fields clean is necessary to prevent weevil populations from expanding To qualify for credit on failed acres, all hostable material — any part of the plant that can support feeding and reproduction — must be destroyed. Cotton acres that do not remain free of cotton plants after spraying begins will not receive the credit.

For more information, contact the Foundation at 800-687-1212