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TCGA Meeting Reflects
Importance Of Quality

By Tommy Horton
Editor

 
How can the Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association outdo last year’s memorable 100th anniversary celebration meeting in Lubbock?

Very simple.

Just think of this year’s event on April 3-4 – co-sponsored by Cotton Farming magazine – as the start of the second century of service to the state’s cotton industry. With that thought in mind, it’s more than appropriate that after producing another huge crop in Texas, the theme of this year’s meeting will be ‘Delivering Quality To The World.’

“I think it’s pretty obvious to the rest of the Belt and the world that we are producing excellent quality here in Texas,” says Tony Williams, TCGA executive vice president.

“This turnaround didn’t happen overnight. It took years of research on the breeding side, and now we have better varieties adaptable to Texas.”

Although the ‘07 crop didn’t get off to a good start with wet weather, it finished strong with the help of near perfect conditions in August, September and October. The final estimates indicate that the state overall produced 8.1 million bales, with the High Plains contributing 5.6 million bales.

Export Market Increases

Williams doesn’t have a specific number on how much Texas cotton is exported to overseas markets, but he speculates that it’s a large quantity – especially in light of the state’s growing reputation as a producer of superior fiber quality.

“I can assure you that the overseas markets know what is happening here in Texas,” he says. “And since China is the No. 1 customer of U.S. cotton, I am sure that country knows about the turnaround in our quality.”

Williams, however, says other regions such as Mexico, Europe and Asia are also important customers of Texas-produced cotton.

The timing of this improved Texas cotton couldn’t be better. Just as the U.S. textile mill sector has shrunk, the export market has now increased to where more than two-thirds of U.S. cotton is sent to overseas customers.

For that reason, Williams wants to re-emphasize that Texas ginners are doing their part to preserve fiber quality by embracing technology. That translates into applying the proper amount of moisture during the ginning process as well as making efforts to prevent contamination.

“There are other things ginners can do such as not over-drying the cotton,” says Williams. “Conversely, there is always a need not to package the cotton at too high of a moisture content.”

As for the April meeting itself, Williams says a new Wednesday night members’ reception on April 2 will be added to the schedule. Other traditional events such as the trade show, Taste of Lubbock, golf tournament, fashion show, domino tournament, Plains Cotton Growers Annual meeting and TCGA Board of Directors meeting will complete the schedule.

For more information, call (512) 476-8388 or visit www.tcga.org.

Contact Tommy Horton at (901) 767-4020 or thorton@onegrower.com.


 

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