Upon recommendation by its Boll Weevil Technical Advisory Committee, the NCC’s Boll Weevil Action Committee (BWAC) agreed to create an International Technical Advisory Committee comprised of U.S. and Mexican representatives, which will focus on the U.S.’ southern Lower Rio Grande Valley and northern Tamaulipas, Mexico areas as one eradication zone. The committees met earlier this month in Dallas.

Creating an international panel that reviews the areas as one zone will improve communication and provide for better coordinated activities on both sides of the U.S. and Mexican border. Besides reviewing activities, the international panel will provide zone operation recommendations to the BWAC, which will review the recommendations, forward approved recommendations to USDA’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and urge coordinated eradication efforts on both sides of the border.

The meeting was well attended and included representatives from the U.S. Cotton Belt, APHIS and several Mexican states as well as a key Mexican federal official, Dr. Javier Trujillo, general director, Plant Health and Food Safety.

Presentations were given by Larry Smith of the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation and by Carlos Campos of the Tamaulipas eradication program. This allowed participants to focus on the eradication challenges presented on both sides of the border. Smith and Campos began having routine meetings this year to discuss activities adjacent to both programs and share boll weevil trap data. Both say the meetings provided positive results and were beneficial to both programs.