The Texas Department of Agriculture announced on Monday the cotton stalk destruction deadline has been extended for cotton growers in Zone 2 Areas 2 and 3 due to wet weather that delayed planting.

The new Sept. 22 destruction deadline applies to current cotton fields in Jim Wells, Kleberg, Nueces and San Patricio counties; the northern portion of Kenedy county; the southern part of Bee county; the southern part of Live Oak county; and portions of Aransas county.

Deadlines for cotton stalk destruction are established by regulations adopted under the Cotton Pest Control Law to help control boll weevils. After the deadline, cotton stalks are not allowed to have squares, blooms or uncracked bolls, and must remain without fruiting structures until emergence of the new cotton crop next spring.

Cotton is a host for the boll weevil. The beetle remains the most destructive cotton pest in North America. The Texas Legislature established the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation in 1993 to eradicate the pest and ensure Texas remains the No. 1 cotton- producing state in the nation. Cotton has more than a $4 billion annual economic impact on the Lone Star State.

For more information, contact the TDA Valley Regional Office at (956) 787-8866.