Two economic realities are affecting how Texas cotton ginners approach the 2011 season – high prices and an increase in cotton acreage. Barring any unforeseen developments, that is exactly what the new year promises for the Cotton Belt’s largest cotton-producing state.
TCGA Annual Meeting
and Trade Show
Keeping that in mind, the Texas Cotton Ginners
Association’s Annual Meeting and Trade Show will
have an appropriate theme on March 31-April 1 in
Lubbock – “Capitalizing On Cotton’s Optimism.”
TCGA executive vice president Tony Williams
says he can’t recall an environment quite like
the one that U.S. cotton finds itself in right now.
“These are amazing times, and we’ve never seen
these kinds of prices within the industry,” he says.
“Some of our Texas farmers may not be able to
sell a lot of cotton for more than a dollar in 2011, but any farmer has to be excited to forward contract cotton for 90 cents. We just never see that here.”
Williams anticipates increased cotton acreage in Texas in nearly every region. And, if projections are accurate, total cotton planted acreage for the state could reach six million acres in 2011.
Positive Environment For Show
That kind of acreage increase bodes well for all segments of the cotton industry in Texas and should present the perfect environment for attendees at the TCGA show in Lubbock.
“I think we’ll have a good positive attitude with all of the folks who attend our show,” says Williams. “We just processed another big crop in 2010 and are equipped to do the same in 2011.”
Williams believes that Texas ginners are reaping dividends after making significant investments in technology and other improvements in their gins. One of the more interesting expansions is occurring in Moore County just north of Dumas, Texas. A new gin with a capacity of 75,000 bales will be conveniently constructed adjacent to the Moore County Gin, which has a similar capacity.
“You’re talking about a potential total capacity of around 150,000 bales from these two gins, and that’s impressive,” says Williams.
Increased Capacity Sought
In anticipation of another huge crop in 2011, some Texas ginners are using the spring and summer months to find ways to increase capacity and make their operations run more smoothly. Williams knows of a gin that is taking this approach one step further by completely rebuilding its facility.
“I think it’s a case of gins trying to get ready for what they think will be two pretty good years,” he says. “Everybody wants to be prepared.”
Another gin making its mark is the new Lubbock Cotton Growers Gin, which was built in 2009. It was designed to handle 1,500 bales a day and can process 100,000 in a good season. It is one of the largest gins in Texas and the second largest in
Major Challenges Ahead
Despite all of these positive signs for the industry, Williams is quick to acknowledge the serious challenges confronting cotton in the next few years. Issues such as the 2012 Farm Bill, Congressional budget cuts, global trade issues and Texas weather conditions are just a few of the problem areas for cotton leaders.
“Those issues are certainly significant for cotton, but I have confidence in the ag friends we have in Congress,” says Williams. “We will work our way through the important issues and try to find solutions.”
Contact Tommy Horton at (901) 767-4020 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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