Local Gins Impacted by Smaller Cotton Fields

By: Erica Proffer Email
By: Erica Proffer Email

It was once the boll weevil, now it’s the economy. However, many area farmers are farming less cotton.

How could this impact our local cotton gins?

Charles Weeks has about 9000 bails of cotton left to move.

While it may look like a lot, through the lens of a camera, Weeks says business has actually slowed.

Weeks says the cotton gin business is down 15 to 20 percent. "They're not getting out, I think, as much as they are cutting back because of the price of corn, soybeans, wheat. The cotton should be up. It should be around a dollar or better, but it has not increased," he says.

Weeks built his cotton gin in the mid 90s.

Back then, there were eight gins in Houston County; now he's the only one.

"We definitely have to see an increase in the price of cotton. If we have a decent growing season, which it's been mighty dry, then we should gin a pretty good amount of cotton," says Weeks.

Weeks says cotton should be at least a dollar a pound. Right now, it's just over 80 cents.

However, he says his business in Houston County is fortunate. He has no large debt, and in his words, ‘is in pretty good shape’.

The Associated Press reports many farmers switched to corn, wheat and soybeans due to the high cost of planting cotton.

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