Battling boll weevils

Tracy Deutmeyer

It may not have drastic effects on the corn fields of Iowa, but Lamar Buckelew’s speech will show the bonus of the boll weevil eradication program on the cotton belt.

Buckelew, a doctorate student in entomology, will present a speech on the “Boll Weevil Eradication Program” today at 4:10 p.m. at East Lagomarcino 164.

The boll weevil, an insect that destroys cotton plants, is being stopped by an extensive eradicated program that has already been successful in North and South Carolina, Buckelew said.

“I’m going to talk about the history of the project, how it was implemented, and about the success of the project,” he said.

Buckelew said that the boll weevils, members of the snout weevil insect family, feed on the fruiting structure of cotton plants. The fruiting structures then fall off, or the plant produces inferior cotton or no cotton.

To eliminate boll weevils, farmers need to spray their crops every week to 10 days, Buckelew said.

“This spraying then eliminated the boll weevil’s natural enemies. Enemies that would have been beneficial to have,” he said.

“The eradication program aims to eliminate the boll weevils, and reduce the amount of pesticide sprayed on the plants, which would be cheaper and eliminate some costs,” he said.

“This is interesting from the standpoint that this is one of the largest attempts to eradicate insects in the United States. It’s a fairly expensive program, but in the long run, it would be beneficial,” Buckelew said.

The program has been implemented in North and South Carolina, and is progressing through the cotton belt to California and Arizona,” he said.