The USDA on Nov. 13 recognized the University of Arizona’s decades of work that contributed to the elimination of pink bollworm in all U.S. cotton producing areas.
USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach presented the Pink Bollworm Cooperative Program Award to the University of Arizona at an event in Phoenix, with the inscription, "In recognition of your exemplary leadership, unwavering commitment, and tireless efforts to eradicate pink bollworm from the United States." UA Head of Entomology, Bruce Tabashnik, accepted the award on behalf of the university.
Ibach credited the UA for providing grower education, pink bollworm control guidance, resistance monitoring assistance, and technical support. He also thanked the UA for leveraging its strong relationships with growers to encourage collaboration, a key to building confidence in the program and making the eradication effort a success.
The USDA announced the landmark achievement in October. Pink bollworm was first detected in the U.S. 100 years ago and the insects often completely destroyed cotton fields. UA entomologists and extension specialists began research work on the pink bollworm in the 1990s and have contributed groundbreaking research and developed effective management systems in the fight against one of the world’s most devastating crop pests.
The UA and USDA will continue research to understand resistance that has evolved in other parts of the world, including India.
Learn more about Arizona's role in the elimination of pink bollworm in the U.S