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

A total of 479 ballots had been mailed out, of which 311 were returned. The Canvassing Committee determined that 306 of the returned ballots were valid.

The results of the referendum were as follows:

-- Voting to establish a boll weevil eradication zone:

254 ballots in favor. This represents 83 percent of those voting. 104,433 acres in favor. This represents 66.4 percent of the acres in the zone.

-- Voting on a $2 per acre dryland, $6 per acre irrigated assessment:

261 ballots in favor. This represents 86 percent of those voting. 106,745 acres in favor. This represents 68 percent of the acres in the zone.

Carey Niehues, already serving on the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation board of directors representing the statutorily formed zone was elected to serve on the board to represent the newly established zone.

Martin Hubert, deputy commissioner of agriculture, certified the results confirming the establishment of an eradication zone in the St. Lawrence zone on behalf of Commissioner Susan Combs.

Roger Haldenby writes for Plains Cotton Growers Inc.

e-mail: rsmith@primediabusiness.com