By admin       2017-10-25

When Hurricane Harvey pounded the Coastal Bend in late August, cotton farmers in Aransas County, Refugio County, and further north lost thousands and thousands of dollars when their crops were decimated. But for other cotton farmers in the Coastal Bend…they had a once-in-a-decade crop. This was about as perfect a cotton season as we can have in South Texas. At planting time there was just enough rain but not too much, which led to a once-in-a-decade crop. Since late July/early August, the Smith Gin Co-op in Odem, Texas, has been working around the clock. "During our peak stage, we were getting truck after truck full of cotton. We are getting anywhere from 250-300 trucks full of cotton a day," said Smith Gin Co-op Manager Lee Tiller. "Many gins in Nueces County, San Patricio County, and the King Ranch are setting new records for the volume of cotton handled - have to love that timely rain throughout the season. Everyone harvested one and a half to two bales or more per acre." One bale is 500 lb of cotton lint, which is roughly twice the long-term average. Last cotton season the Smith Gin Co-op ginned a record 65,000-75,000 bales, that produced about 21 million dollars worth of cotton for the farmers. This season a new record will be set when production stops in November. The Co-op has ginned 86,000 bales, and is expected to finish with 95,000-100,000 bales of cotton. "This season is running longer because of the big yields that were produced. That is good news for the farmers, all those bales of cotton are worth more than 32-million dollars in sales for the farmers here at the Smith Co-op alone," said Tiller. "This year's cotton crop will have a big impact on our local economy. The agriculture income from cotton last year was over $71 million for Nueces County alone. This year we have even more acres of cotton, and a better crop will be a much larger impact," said Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Agronomist Josh Mcginty.

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