We Paid For It: Boll Weevil Eradication Organization
OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma has countless agencies, spending our tax dollars. We came across several you may not even know exist. One has the sole purpose of getting rid of weevils.
Why do we need The Oklahoma Boll Weevil Eradication Organization? It's because boll weevils love cotton, a $67,000,000 industry in our state.
"The weevil would take over the cotton," Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese said. "You just can't grow cotton if the boll weevil is around."
The agency has an annual budget of $1,012,841; $691,678 goes toward salaries and benefits for 11 employees.
In the spring, they'll install boll weevil traps, at least one in every field. Last year that was about 3000 traps. Every three weeks from May until November they check the traps for boll weevils.
If they find them, they spray the field.
The preventative steps are working. Our state has been boll weevil free for five years, so they have not needed to spray.
While we were paying for the program with tax dollars when it first started in 1997, cotton farmers foot the bill today. Since the agency hasn't sprayed since 2007, farmers are only paying about a quarter as much as in years past.