A judge ruled that the state Plant Board acted lawfully when it imposed a pesticide-spraying program on northeast Arkansas cotton farmers last May, according to the Associated Press.

Farmers were assessed fees of $8/acre by the Board even though they did not agree to join the Arkansas Boll Weevil Eradication Program.

Judge Jay Moody handed down a partial ruling stating that the Board has the authority to force farmers to participate, even though growers in Mississippi County and eastern Craighead County voted against the eradication program five times in the last seven years.