PART 1. TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
CHAPTER 20. COTTON PEST CONTROL
SUBCHAPTER C. STALK DESTRUCTION PROGRAM
4 TAC §20.20, §20.22
The Texas Department of Agriculture (the Department) proposes amendments to the Texas Administrative Code, Title 4, Part 1, Chapter 20, Subchapter C, §20.20, concerning Pest Management Zones, and §20.22, concerning Stalk Destruction Requirements.
These proposed amendments are in response to a request from Texas cotton producers to the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation's (Foundation) Board of Directors to consolidate and renumber certain pest management areas within pest management zones.
The Board forwarded this request to its Technical Advisory Committee (Committee) for further review. The Committee indicated these zones are currently in functionally eradicated or eradicated areas of Texas, and do not have a boll weevil presence. Accordingly, they no longer face pest control demands requiring destruction and planting dates specific to their areas, as currently reflected. The Committee also determined that, with the advent of new cotton varieties, combined with a decrease in the number of producers, consolidation of the areas within these zones would facilitate production more efficiently for those producers who operate across multiple zones.
The consolidation of areas necessitates changes to stalk destruction dates to achieve uniformity in the reorganized pest management zones. Dates were selected to reflect the latest stalk destruction dates in the areas being consolidated. In its review, the Committee also aligned the earliest planting date and end date for destruction requirements to reflect these changes.
Following the Committee's review, its Chairman, Dr. Tom Fuchs, presented the recommendations to the Board at its meeting on November 17, 2021. The Board agreed that these recommendations reflect industry demands and aim at aiding cotton producers in increasing the effectiveness of their efforts at producing pest-free cotton. The Board discussed these recommendations with the Department throughout the review process. The Department concluded that implementing these changes would not only aid producers but also increase the Department's efficiency at managing its hostable cotton program. The Department agreed to propose these changes following a formal request from the Board.
The proposed amendments to §20.20 combine the areas of Pest Management Zone 2 into a single Zone 2, renumber Pest Management Zone 6 to become Zone 5, combine the areas of Pest Management Zone 7 and renumber it to become Zone 6, combine the areas of Pest Management Zone 8 and renumber it to become Zone 7, renumber Pest Management Zone 9 to become Zone 8, and renumber Pest Management Zone 10 to become Zone 9.
The proposed amendments to §20.22 change references to Pest Management Zones 9 and 10 to Zones 8 and 9, respectively, to account for the proposed amendments to §20.20. The amendments also revise the table in §20.22(a)(3) to reflect the proposed amendments to the pest management zones in §20.20, and change earliest planting dates, destruction deadlines, and end dates for destruction requirements for particular zones.
Dr. Awinash Bhatkar, Coordinator for Biosecurity and Agriculture Resource Management, has determined that for the first five-year period the proposed amendments are in effect, there will be no fiscal impact on state or local government as a result of the proposal.
Dr. Bhatkar has also determined that for each year of the first five years the proposed amendments are in effect, the public benefit anticipated as a result of administering the proposed amendments will be greater uniformity an increase in the effectiveness of boll weevil and pink bollworm eradication efforts throughout the State.
Dr. Bhatkar has provided the following information related to the government growth impact statement, as required pursuant to Texas Government Code, §2001.021. As a result of implementing the proposal, for the first five years the proposed rules are in effect:
(1) no government programs will be created or eliminated;
(2) no employee positions will be created or eliminated;
(3) there will be no increase or decrease in future legislative appropriations to the Department;
(4) there will be no increase or decrease in fees paid to the Department;
(5) no new regulations will be created by the proposal;
(6) there will be no expansion, limitation, or repeal of existing regulation;
(7) there will be no increase or decrease in the number of individuals subject to the rules; and
(8) there will be a positive effect on the Texas economy, as the increase in the effectiveness of boll weevil and pink bollworm eradication efforts will be favorable to cotton production.
The Department has determined the proposed rules will not affect a local economy within the meaning of Government Code, §2001.022, and will not have an adverse economic effect on small businesses, micro-businesses, or rural communities.
Comments on the proposed amendments may be submitted to Morris Karam, Assistant General Counsel, Texas Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 12847, Austin, Texas 78711, or by email to Morris.Karam@TexasAgriculture.gov. Comments must be received no later than 30 days from the date of publication of the proposal in the Texas Register.
The amendments are proposed under §74.006 of the Texas Agriculture Code, which provides the Department with the authority to adopt rules as necessary for the effective enforcement and administration of the cotton pest control program, and §74.004, which provides the Department with the authority to establish regulated areas, dates, and appropriate methods of destruction of cotton stalks, other cotton parts, and products of host plants for cotton pests.
Chapter 74 of the Texas Agriculture Code is affected by the proposal.
§20.20.Pest Management Zones.
(a) (No change.)
(b) Zones. Established zones include the following counties:
(1) (No change.)
(2) Zone 2[
, Area (1)]. Aransas, Bee,
Calhoun, Duval, Goliad, Jim Wells, Kleberg, LaSalle, Live
Oak, McMullen, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria, [ and]
Webb, and the northern portion of Kenedy County encompassing
the area above an east-west line through Katherine and Armstrong, Texas.
[(3) Zone 2, Area (2). Jim Wells,
Kleberg, Nueces, and the northern portion of Kenedy County encompassing
the area above an east-west line through Katherine and Armstrong, Texas.]
[(4) Zone 2, Area (3). Aransas except for that part north of Copano Bay (including but not limited to Lamar and Blackjack peninsulas), San Patricio and south and east of U.S. Highway 59 in Bee and Live Oak.]
[(5) Zone 2, Area (4). Aransas north of Copano Bay (including but not limited to Lamar and Blackjack peninsulas), Calhoun, Goliad, LaSalle, McMullen, Refugio, Victoria and north and west of U.S. Highway 59 in Bee and Live Oak.]
(6)] Zone 3. Austin, Brazoria,
Chambers, Colorado, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Gonzales, Harris,
Jackson, Jefferson, Lavaca, Liberty, Matagorda, Orange, Waller, and Wharton.
(7)] Zone 4. Atascosa, Bexar,
DeWitt, Dimmit, Frio, Karnes, Kinney, Maverick, Medina, Uvalde, Val
Verde, Wilson, and Zavala.
(8)] Zone 5 [ 6].
Bastrop, Burnet, Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe, Hays, Lee, Milam, Travis, and Williamson.
(9)] Zone 6 [ 7,
Area (1)]. Anderson, Angelina, Brazos, Burleson, Cherokee, Grimes, Hardin, Houston, Jasper, Leon, Madison,
Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Newton, Panola, Polk,
Robertson, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, [ and] Smith, Trinity, Tyler, Walker, and Washington.
[(10) Zone 7, Area (2). Brazos, Burleson,
Grimes, Hardin, Jasper, Madison, Montgomery, Newton, Polk, Robertson,
San Jacinto, Trinity, Tyler, Walker and Washington.]
(11)] Zone 7 [ 8
Area (1)]. Bell, Bosque, Coryell, Ellis, Falls, Freestone,
Hamilton, Henderson, Hill, Hood, Johnson, Lampasas,
Limestone, [ and] McLennan, Navarro, and Somervell.
[(12) Zone 8 Area (2). Ellis, Henderson,
Hood, Johnson, Navarro and Somervell.]
(13)] Zone 8 [ 9
]. Pecos, Reeves, and Ward.
(14)] Zone 9 [ 10
]. El Paso County and that portion of Hudspeth County bounded
by Interstate Highway 10 on the north, the El Paso County line on
the west, the Rio Grande River on the south, and a line
from old Fort Quitman, north along Highway 34 to Interstate 10 on
§20.22.Stalk Destruction Requirements.
(a) Deadline and methods. From the destruction deadline until the end date for destruction requirements, all cotton plants in a Pest Management Zone shall be non-hostable. Enforcement of destruction requirements begins on the day immediately following the destruction deadline date. Additional requirements for stalk destruction are as follows:
(1) Zone 8 [
9]--All cotton plants
shall be shredded.
(2) Zone 9 [
10]--All cotton plants
shall be shredded; also, the field shall be:
(A) - (B) (No change.)
(3) The destruction deadlines and end date for destruction requirements for cotton plants in each Pest Management Zone are prescribed as follows:
Figure: 4 TAC §20.22(a)(3) (.pdf)
Figure: 4 TAC §20.22(a)(3)]
(b) - (f) (No change.)
The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.
Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on August 12, 2022.
Assistant General Counsel
Texas Department of Agriculture
Earliest possible date of adoption: September 25, 2022
For further information, please call: (512) 936-9360