When the cotton harvest comes to an end each year, a ginner becomes a farmer's best friend. But more and more, gins are shutting down and farmers have fewer choices on where to go to gin cotton.
This week, ginners from all over the country met to find ways to keep their gins running smoothly and keep their farmerrs from going out of business. About 100 years ago, there were more than 29,000 gins in the U.S. By the year 2005, experts say there will be less than 800 left.
"If they're not ginning 20,000 bales a year, at this point, it's gonna be tough to catch up," says Chris Jackson, President of Samuel Jackson, Inc.
And those numbers have ginners like Willis Taubert concerned.
"I think the bigger and better gins are gonna stay in and the smaller ones are gonna go out," says Taubert of Cotton Center.
"I think we're heading toward a regional gin," says Jackson.
Samuel Jackson, Inc. is built on a 50 year legacy of manufacturing the very latest in ginning equipment.
"The technology to do that is changing," says Jackson.
Now, they share the secrets of ginning success with others in a two day program they call the Cotton Conditioning Workshop.
"That's what this is all about, and it's nice to see people come together," says Jackson.
Here ginners learn about the latest ginning technology and how it helps to have better and faster equipment.
"And you've gotta get your cost of production down and you learn a lot from these types of workshops," says Taubert.
Among the most popular devices, a moisture system that adds money by adding pounds to every bale.
"It's putting more weight into that bale. When we put 485 pounds of lint and 15 pounds of moisture, it doesn't lose that weight, so all that money goes to the farmer. That middle man is not gaining anything and that's what we want," says Don Weston of Alabama.
To learn more about the latest ginning equipment and Samuel Jackson Incorporated, you can (click here).