For the first time in the history of the program, the Arkansas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation (ABWEF) is providing a cash rebate to Arkansas cotton farmers, for cotton acreage reported in 2017. Just over $318,000 will be given back to farmers, to fulfill the $.75 per acre rebate approved today by the Arkansas Agriculture Department’s State Plant Board (ASPB). Cotton farmers should expect payments by the end of April.

The ABWEF borrowed millions of dollars over the years from the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), as did other southern states and programs, to finance the boll weevil eradication program that began in 1997.  In 2006, the devastating boll weevil pest was eradicated from Arkansas.  In 2015, the ABWEF successfully paid off the loan amount three years early.  Last year, the ABWEF lowered assessments from $4 per acre to $3 per acre, saving cotton producers thousands of dollars.

“We are very excited for our cotton producers. This rebate is unlike anything offered before by the program,” says Arkansas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation Executive Director Regina Coleman. “Our program has remained dedicated to the best interests of Arkansas cotton growers. Even after lowering assessments last year, our finances are allowing us to keep a two year reserve in place to ensure the sustainability of the program and offer a rebate to our cotton farmers.”

Anyone with questions about the boll weevil rebate, contact Regina Coleman at 870-692-6368 or rcoleman@abwep.org.

The ABWEF is an Arkansas nonprofit corporation designated by the ASPB to operate the Arkansas boll weevil eradication program. The ABWEF and the boll weevil eradication operations are overseen and regulated by the ASPB.

The Arkansas State Plant Board is a division of the Arkansas Agriculture Department.  The Arkansas State Plant Board implements regulations and administers enforcement for laws that impact agriculture and the general public in the State.  Visit www.aad.arkansas.gov.