Massive Cotton Yield Keeping Area Gins Busy
MILES, TX. -- From every direction when you come into town, people can see the giant rectangular bread loaf-looking things sitting by the highway and in the fields.
These are modules filled with freshly harvested cotton. These modules allow the cotton to be stored without losing yield or quality prior to ginning. The quantity we see this year has far surpassed last years.
Farmers have harvested their yield and now are waiting for trucks to come get the modules and bales to take them to their designated cotton gin.
One of those gins being the Hwy 67 Gin Co. in Miles, Texas. Formally known as the Kasberg Gin, the Hwy 67 Gin is no longer owned by the Kasberg family and is now owned by Max Kerley, who was a partial owner since 2007. In 2013, Kerley bought the rest of the gin and it is now a privately owned operation.
The massive stock of modules and bales showed that the yield was bountiful this year and is now keeping the gin more than busy.
“We can process up to 30 modules per hour and we operate 24 hours until all of the cotton is processed,” said Max Kerley. “The speed of the processing depends on the type of different cotton that goes through.”
“We plan to be done for the season around the middle of February.”
The ginning process is a hefty one indeed. According to the National Cotton Council of America, seed cotton moves to nearby gins to separate the lint and the seed. The cotton first goes through massive dryers to reduce the moisture content and through cleaning equipment to remove any foreign objects from the white fluff.
The cotton is then air conveyed to gin stands where revolving circular saws pull the lint through closely spaced ribs that prevent the seed from passing through. The lint is removed from the saw teeth by air blasts or rotating brushes and then compressed into bales.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture establishes classing standards in cooperation with the entire cotton industry.
Cotton is ready to sell after instrument classing establishes the quality parameters for each bale. The marketing of cotton is a complex operation that includes all transactions involving buying, selling, or reselling from the time the cotton is ginning until it reaches the textile mills.
Usually, cotton is stored for long periods of time because it is a non-perishable crop.
“The closest storage warehouse is in Ballinger,” added Max Kerley.
The economy in Miles is heavily dependent on the cotton and the ginning process. The two major crops in the area are cotton and wheat, so the success of these plants is important.
Annual business revenue stimulated by cotton in the United States economy exceeds $120 billion, making cotton America’s number one value-added crop.