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TCGA Anticipates Bigger Crop

Tommy Horton

Tommy Horton

The Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association summer meeting at the Lost Pines Resort near Austin and Bastrop was dominated by one theme – the potential for a bigger crop in 2014.

Timely rains earlier this summer created an excellent opportunity for the state’s producers. “I would say that the recent rains have definitely generated more optimism among our association’s ginners,” says TCGA executive vice president Tony Williams. “We see the chance for a pretty good crop this year if we’re fortunate with the weather.”

TCGA members visit historic Burton GinEven with the additional rainfall, Williams says some irrigated acres north of Lubbock were probably lost due to hail, high winds and disease in that area. Conversely, because of rains occurring in other parts of the state, it appears that a dryland crop will be produced for the first time in several years.

The agenda for the meeting was a busy one with several presentations given by industry leaders. Dr. Joe Outlaw, co-director of the Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University and a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service economist, gave a detailed look at the new farm law and implications for Texas cotton producers. “Dr. Outlaw is a respected economist, and spelled out the options our producers have in this new law,” Williams added.

Also delivering reports to the TCGA Board were Sid Miller, Republican nominee for Texas Ag Commissioner, and Harrison Ashley, executive vice president of the National Cotton Ginners’ Association.

Labor Issues Are Crucial
Besides continuing to monitor key issues on the regulatory and environmental fronts, the board discussed various situations that continue to confront member gins, such as having access to enough seasonal workers during the ginning season.

Because of the drought in recent years, Williams says many gins have only used one crew. If this year’s crop is bigger, those gins will have to find enough workers for a second crew. One of the highlights for those attending the summer meeting was the opportunity to take a bus trip to the historic Burton Farmers Gin. Many attendees dressed up in special outfits commemorating the centennial anniversary of the gin. Three bales were ginned and wrapped in jute material, with one being auctioned off.

“We had a lot of fun making the trip, and I think everyone had a good time,” Williams says.

Contact Tommy Horton, editor of Cotton Farming at 901-767-4020 or thorton@onegrower.com