Record Cotton Crop Means Ginning Until Spring - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/4/08

Record Cotton Crop Means Ginning Until Spring

Record rainfall is leading to a record cotton crop and a record season at area gins. This season's crop is the second largest ever produced on the Texas High Plains.

The record amount translates into billions of dollars for the area and means ginning cotton until spring.

It is not something you typically hear at a gin, employee's voices and the sound of tools. However, on this day Associated Cotton Growers Gin in Crosbyton is taking a break to make repairs.

 "We're repairing. We've ginned 60,000 bales so far and we're shutting down and we're working on our press," General Manager Heethe Burleson said.

Burleson says they are usually done ginning by the beginning of January. However, with nearly double the amount of cotton modules expected to come in, he says they are far from done.

Last year Associated Cotton Growers ginned only 4,000 models. However, when the gin starts back up late Friday model 5,767 is ready to be processed and there still is another 6,500 in waiting.

Burleson said, "Typically it's about 3 and a half to four months a year is all that a gin runs and your repair for the next year. But this year we're going to be running six, seven months because there's so much cotton."

Jay Yates a Farm Financial Analyst for the Texas ArgiLife Extension Service says because of the quality of the cotton, this is the best price they have ever received.

"We're looking at a price translated somewhere 58 to 60 cents a pound which would translate on 5.3 million bales about one and a half billion dollars," Yates explained.

 It is billions of dollars, which means months of work still ahead for those like Burleson and others ginners.

"We're not even through harvesting. There are still people stripping cotton," Burleson added.

The largest crop on the High Plains was in 2005 when 5.8 million cotton bales were produced. This year fell just short of that record with 5.3 million bales.

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