Coastal Cotton Ginners Reflect on Impact

of Hurricane Harvey

Thursday, August 31, 2017            By Aaron Nelsen, TCGA

      Texas Cotton Ginners Association's Aaron Nelsen contacted several members along the Texas coast to see how members were recovering from the hurricane. Keep these gins and communities in your prayers as they recover from the damage left by Hurricane Harvey. Here is some information obtained from various members on the Texas coast that will give you an idea of what they are facing after Hurricane Harvey made landfall. 

      Moses Gin, Wharton – Danny Moses was worried about possible flooding when I spoke to him. Later that day (Wednesday, August 30), there were reports that Wharton, Texas flooded due to the cresting of the nearby Colorado River caused from excessive runoff upstream of the river. As in many cases in Texas, it was not wind damage from the hurricane, but the torrential rainfall that has caused the major damage. When I spoke with Danny, he had several friends with boats helping with rescue efforts in the area.

      United Ag Cooperative, El Campo – Jimmy Roppolo reported the crop was around fifty percent harvested when the storm hit. He felt a small portion of what was left in the field would be harvested. He noted the round modules withstood the storm far better than their rectangular counterparts. Some harvested modules were sitting in water out in the fields. The gin was headed toward a record crop before damage from the hurricane.

      Farmers Gin Palacios – Amber Engel made it back to Palacios on Tuesday, August 29. Matagorda County had been under mandatory evacuation. Most employees evacuated and are slowly coming back to town. The gin survived well with no structural damage to note. Many module tarps were blown off conventional modules. The round modules held up well. Amber estimates the area around the gin was around 90 percent harvested at the time of the storm. Amber noted many farmers picked cotton both day and night for several days before the hurricane came ashore. Farmers did everything they could to get the cotton off the stalk. There will be some very green cotton to be ginned. They have electricity back and hoped to start ginning again soon. Due to the storm's effect on the Houston area, they have nowhere to ship their seed and cotton right now.

      Bayside Richardson Co-op Gin, Woodsboro – David Wyatt reports the gin suffered significant damage from the hurricane. Of all coastal gins, this one was closest to the eye of the hurricane. David believes his producers finished the harvest right before the hurricane came ashore. It will be another three to four weeks before electricity is restored at the gin. Electrical wires were laying on the highway for miles. He said cleanup crews were recently able to move the electric poles off the highway. He reports the round modules held up well. Conventional modules were damaged badly. Many module tarps were blown off by the storm with anywhere from 20 to 100 percent of the module remaining. The burr house and seed house were destroyed by the winds as well as the west-end wall where the press is located. The gin will not run again this year. 

      Smith Gin Co-op, Odem – Lee Tiller notes minor wind damage at the gin. The trash line was blown down and the crew is currently repairing that. The gin lost electricity for a couple of days, but that has now been restored. The cotton in the area was 80 – 90 percent harvested before the hurricane made landfall. There will be some loss to the cotton on the yard, mostly to the conventional modules that had the tarps blown off. The gin has not yet reached the halfway point in the ginning season. Tiller states "We missed a major catastrophe by about ten miles." 

      True Co-op Gin, Bishop – Mike Thompson notes minimal damage from the hurricane. The gin was shut down before the storm came ashore to give employees the option to evacuate. Mike says the area received around five inches of rainfall and lost a few module tarps due to the high winds. Mike stayed at the gin and was able to get some maintenance done while the gin was down. Mike plans to start ginning again very soon!

      Ross Gin, Mercedes – Buddy Ross says the hurricane was nearly a non-event in the Rio Grande Valley. They had 25 – 30 mph hour winds and that was the extent of it. Buddy noted they were watering the gin yard during the storm to keep the dust down from blowing. The area is 99 percent harvested. Buddy said they will gin into October and felt very blessed.

      PCG EDITOR'S NOTE: Many have asked about ways to contribute to relief efforts. We encourage you to consider one of several charities and organizations devoted to relief efforts. The Houston Chronicle has listed several at www.chron.com/news/houston-weather/hurricaneharvey/article/Hurricane-Harvey-How-to-help-victims-of-the-12003372.php.

      The Texas Department of Agriculture also is taking donations to their State of Texas Agriculture Relief Fund (STAR Fund). More information is available online at http://www.texasagriculture.gov/Home/ProductionAgriculture/DisasterAssistance/STARFund.aspx.

      Texas Farm Bureau has established the TFB Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. More information is at http://texasfarmbureau.org/texas-farm-bureau-hurricane-harvey-relief-effort/.

      Locally, the Bayer Museum of Agriculture is collecting donations for ranchers, farmers and livestock affected by the hurricane through September 8. For a list of supplies needed, visit https://www.facebook.com/BayerMuseumofAgriculture/ or call (806) 744-3786. An account also has been set up by the museum at HF&C Feeds in Lubbock, (806) 866-9801.

 

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Runway Show to Kick Off Celebrate Cotton

Week Festivities; Game Tickets Still Available

Friday, September 1, 2017                        By Mary Jane Buerkle

Cotton-rich clothing will be featured at the third annual Celebrate Cotton Runway Show, set for 1 p.m. Saturday, September 9, at South Plains Mall. This event is sponsored by South Plains Mall, Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., Plains Cotton Cooperative Association, ARMtech, and Cotton Incorporated, and is open to the public.

Those in the cotton industry who want to see the Texas Tech Red Raiders take on Arizona State in the Celebrate Cotton game on Saturday, September 16, at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock have a special promotional code to purchase tickets to that game.

Be sure you have your game tickets by visiting http://bit.ly/TTUCottonGameTickets and entering COTTON17, or calling the Texas Tech Ticket Office at (806) 742-TECH (8324) and asking for the Cotton Game special pricing.

Individual tickets start at just $35 each with the promo code, and the game time is at 7 p.m. Season tickets also are still available for purchase.

PCG has proudly partnered with Texas Tech Athletics to establish this fun event that puts the High Plains cotton industry on a national stage. Cotton will be everywhere before and throughout the game, from displays around the stadium to promotion, special graphics and fun cotton facts during the game.

Special gameday T-shirts, sponsored by PCG and Scarborough Specialties, will be distributed (first-come, first-serve!) and cotton bales will line each entrance to the stadium, each with signage talking about what the cotton in that bale can make or how it impacts our economy. Farmers Cooperative Compress assists with providing the bales.

      Gameday partners include Ag Texas Farm Credit Services; BASF; Bayer CropScience; Cavender's; City Bank; Crop Production Services; Deltapine; Netafim; NexGen; Hurst Farm Supply; Wylie Implement and Sprayers; Scarborough Specialties; and PCG.

A complete list of Celebrate Cotton gameday partners and additional events during Cotton Game week is available at http://www.plainscotton.org/CelebrateCotton.html. If you have an event to add to Cotton Game week, or for more information on any of these events, please call PCG at (806) 792-4904 or email maryjane@plainscotton.org.

 

AIM Program Cost-Share Funds Expended

Friday, September 1, 2017            From High Plains Water District

      In less than two weeks, all cost-share funding for HPWD's Assistance In Irrigation Management (AIM) program has been claimed by producers.

      HPWD received $225,000 in grant funding from the Texas Water Development Board's (TWDB) Agricultural Water Conservation Grants Program for the project. The district first announced the AIM program on Aug. 17.

      The Water District will continue to seek grant-funding opportunities with the Texas Water Development Board, but no additional funding is available at this time.

      "HPWD commends these producers for their interest in this equipment," HPWD Manager Jason Coleman said.

 

Want the facts about the U.S. agriculture and farm policy?

http://www.farmpolicyfacts.org

 

Upcoming Area Field Days

      September 6 – Texas Alliance for Water Conservation Field Day, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., AgriSearch Farm near Edmonson (Hale County). Site directions and more information available at http://www.tawc.us.

      September 6 – Dawson County Ag Tour, 9 a.m., AG-CARES farm near Lamesa. Questions: Katie Lewis, Texas A&M AgriLife Research/Texas Tech, katie.lewis@ag.tamu.edu.

      September 6 – Americot/NexGen Field Day, 10:30 a.m., Texas Tech Quaker Farm, 200 N. Quaker (just north of the intersection of Fourth Street and Quaker Avenue), Lubbock. Lunch to follow tour. Questions: contact any NexGen sales representative.

      September 7 – On-Farm Water Efficiency Field Day hosted by Crop Production Services and North Plains Groundwater Conservation District, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m., North Plains Water Conservation Center, 6045 Co. Rd. E., Dumas. More information available at http://northplainsgcd.org/events/.

      September 12 – Americot/NexGen Hockley/Cochran County Field Day, 4 p.m., meet at Len Stanley's barn. Questions: contact Mark Foster, Paxton Pugh or Gary Sanders.

September 14 – PhytoGen/Enlist Field Tour, Shallowater Community Center, 1009 Avenue H. Registration 7:30 a.m., tour begins at 8 a.m. Lunch provided at conclusion of tour. Questions: Ken Legˇ, 806-773-7310, or your local PhytoGen sales rep.

      September 20 – Perryton Field Day hosted by North Plains Groundwater Conservation District, Ochiltree County Expo, 402 Expo Drive, Perryton, 9:30 a.m. More information available at http://northplainsgcd.org/events/.

      September 21 – Americot/NexGen Field Day, 10 a.m., AgriSearch Farm near Edmonson (Hale County). Questions: contact Gary Sanders or Jerry Montgomery.

September 23 – Deltapine Seminole Showcase Event, 11 a.m., Nichols Farm, 6 miles southwest of Seminole on FM 181. Questions: Eric Best, 806-790-4646.

      September 26 – Deltapine Field Day, 11 a.m., Robbie Harkey Farm, Interstate 27 Exit 43, Hale Center. More information: Alyssa Spruill, (806) 500-5003.

      September 26 – Americot/NexGen Lubbock/Lynn County Field Day, time TBA, Matt Caswell Farm. Questions: contact Cody Reep, Dale Schaffner or Hayden Alexander.

      September 28 – Bayer CropScience West Texas Field Day, location in the Lubbock area to be determined. Questions: contact your local Bayer CropScience sales representative.

      October 3 – Swisher County Cotton Tour, 9 a.m., Kress. Questions: John Villalba, Swisher County CEA-Ag/NR, (806) 995-3721.

      If you have a field day to add to this list, please email maryjane@plainscotton.org or call (806) 792-4904.