The Cotton Research and Protection Council was established by Laws 1984, Chapter 249. Statutory authority is found at A.R.S. §§3-1081 et seq.
The Council promotes cotton research, provides funding for abatement procedures and supports cotton pest eradication programs. The Council consists of nine active cotton producers appointed by the Governor to three-year terms. Growers are assessed a fee for each bale of cotton produced in the state. Fees vary, based on where the cotton is grown and the color of the cotton. The fees collected support the Council, which does not receive state general funds. The Council is authorized to rebate a portion of the fees as an incentive for cotton producers to plow up cotton fields as part of the state’s pest control management program.
The Council was established in 1984 to generate monies to support cotton research, to provide a source of funds for abatement procedures and to support cotton pest eradication programs and activities. The legislation authorized the collection of a fee of up to one dollar for each bale of cotton produced in the state. At the time of creation, a grower could request a refund of fees; however that option was repealed in 1987. The Arizona Commission of Agriculture and Horticulture (now part of the Arizona Department of Agriculture) provided administrative services to the Council. The law also included a process to call for an election to determine whether to terminate the Council. An election could be triggered either by a vote of two-thirds of the Council members or upon petition by 300 contributing cotton producers. If a majority of voters voted ‘yes,’ the Council was required to notify the Legislature. If a majority voted ‘no,’ another election could not be conducted for two years. See Laws 1984, Chapter 249.
A number of changes to the Council were adopted in 1987. The fee assessed per bale was modified and based on the elevation of the land where the cotton was grown. The fee for cotton produced in higher elevations (above 2,700 feet) could not exceed one dollar per bale unless the state entomologist determined a need for pest eradication programs. The fee for cotton produced at or below 2,700 feet was increased to a maximum of five dollars per bale. Notice to the growers was required at least 60 days prior to adopting the fee. The measure repealed the ability for a grower to request a refund of fees and required the Council to refer the question of whether to renew the refund program at an election to be held no later than November 30, 1988. In addition, the threshold to petition for an advisory election to terminate the Council was modified to require the signatures of ten percent of the previous years’ contributing cotton producers, rather than the signatures of 300 contributing cotton producers. See Laws 1987, Chapter 58.
Laws 1988, Chapter 14 allowed the Council to employ staff and to enter into an interagency agreement (IGA) with the Arizona Commission of Agriculture and Horticulture for administrative services. The law clearly stated that an IGA did not convey any authority or control over the Council, its employees or assets.
Laws 1990, Chapter 32 authorized the Council to use monies collected pursuant to the per bale assessment as a rebate to facilitate a program to provide incentives for plow up of cotton fields.
Laws 1991, Chapter 108 revised legislation adopted the previous year and gave the Council discretionary authority to establish a program to refund fees to cotton producers in order to provide an incentive to abate cotton fields. The law also authorized the Council to expend monies to promote Arizona agriculture and the cotton industry. In addition, the law outlined the Council’s authority to provide benefits to its employees.
Laws 1994, Chapter 275 authorized the Arizona Department of Agriculture to adopt rules to regulate the production of colored cotton and allowed the Council to assess a fee of up to $3 per bale of colored cotton. The fee was dedicated to enforcement activities related to colored cotton. The law also authorized formation of a cotton pest control district based on a petition from, and unanimous consent of, the cotton producers who would be included in the district. Provisions for establishment of a board of directors, assessments, fees and a method to dissolve the district were included.
Laws 1996, Chapter 266 addressed cotton pest abatement and reimbursement of associated costs from the Council or the responsible cotton producer. The law also established a civil penalty of up to $500 for each violation of rules related to production of colored cotton and revised provisions regarding collection and remittance schedules of per bale fees collected by cotton gins.
Laws 1999, Chapter 49 authorized establishment of a three-year, pink bollworm eradication program if approved by cotton producers. A fee based on the number of acres of cotton planted funded the eradication program. The fee did not apply to acres planted with Bt cotton, which is a variety of cotton developed to control bollworms and other insect pests that attack cotton. Although the growers did not approve the eradication program proposed in 1999, a subsequent referendum, proposed in 2004, was approved.
In 2004, the Council was authorized to conduct a statewide referendum to implement a four year pink bollworm eradication program to determine if a program should be implemented on a statewide or regional basis. See Laws 2004, Chapter 9.
Laws 2013, Chapter 161 revised the relationship and responsibilities of the Council and the Arizona Department of Agriculture with regard to: administrative services; abatement programs related to cotton protection; and requirements regarding plow up of cotton fields, fees, cost recovery and penalties. The per bale assessment for cotton grown at elevations above 2,700 feet was modified to allow collection of $3 per bale (reduced from a maximum of $5 per bale) in the event the Council determined that a program to control cotton pests or diseases was necessary. The law also exempted the Council from the requirement to participate in the state telecommunication carrier services.
- Arizona Revised Statutes A.R.S. §§3-1081 et seq.
- Session Laws
- Laws 1984, Chapter 249
- Laws 1987, Chapter 58
- Laws 1988, Chapter 14
- Laws 1990, Chapter 32
- Laws 1991, Chapter 108
- Laws 1994, Chapter 275
- Laws 1996, Chapter 266
- Laws 1999, Chapter 49
- Laws 2004, Chapter 9
- Laws 2013, Chapter 161
- United States Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service (ARS 154, January 2001) http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/np/btcotton/btcotton.pdf
Related collections at Arizona State Archives
- Record Group 9 – AZ Department of Agriculture
- Record Group 133, Subject Group 2 – U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Manuscript Group 45 – Arizona Cotton Growers Association
- Manuscript Group 122 – Hudson Cotton
- Manuscript Group 123 – Supima Association of America