Less cotton means less money for West Texas gins

Texas Star Co-Op Gin manager concerned the season will be shorter
Published: Oct. 16, 2022 at 9:41 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WILSON, Texas (KCBD) - The drought early in the cotton season left several fields bare. Texas Star Co-Op Gin in Wilson reports it may not have much to process this season.

The manager of the Texas Star Co-Op, Cary Eubanks, says the gin has received 64 modules and ginned a total of 750 bales. He says this is close to what they’ve usually ginned at this point, but what comes next scares him because of the drought.

“This is how it kind of always starts, but it is going to be a short year for sure,” Eubanks said.

Less cotton means less money for the gin.

“We’re probably going to be looking at a financial loss for the year, just because of how short of a season we’ll have - not hitting our break-even point for the year as far as bales that we normally gin,” Eubanks said.

The lack of cotton isn’t the only challenge. What it costs to get the cotton to the gin and processed has also increased.

“Diesel, yes, is high, so the hauling price is a little higher,” Eubanks said. “We don’t know yet, but we’re worried about our electricity cost is going to be quite a bit higher; we know natural gas is going to be higher.”

The USDA reports that the cotton price in West Texas is currently just under 84 cents a pound. Eubanks wishes that price were higher. He says when everyone hears how the season is going in and around the Hub City, the price should change, since this area is the largest cotton patch in the world.

“I think that when the truth comes out about the type of wreck we’re in as far as this year’s harvest in this area, that cotton price should come up,” Eubanks said.

He’s had to let go of some employees, and is afraid they won’t come back in the future.

“It affects our people that we’re used to hiring every year; we’re used to running 24/7 on a normal year, we’re just going to run days, and so half of my normal crew I’m not able to hire this year,” Eubanks said.

Eubanks says since the gins are having to let employees go, it will also affect the Lubbock economy, since gins are such a huge employer in this area.

Eubanks told KCBD on Sunday he had several days of ginning ahead, but with the recent rain it would take some time before farmers could start harvesting again.