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Knoxville — The drought in the summer of 1999 hurt many Tennessee farmers. But cotton boll weevils thrived in the hot, dry weather.

An insect specialist with the UT Agricultural Extension Service said the weather this winter will have much to do with the level of boll weevil infestation next spring.

“The winter mortality does have a big impact on survival the following year, Ron Seward said. “In West Tennessee, we rely on that winter mortality as part of our control mechanism.”

The UT Agricultural Extension Service has a boll weevil eradication program. But Seward said they’ve not yet started the program in West Tennessee, which is where most of Tennessee’s cotton farmers are located.