By Shelley Denning
Editors Note: This is the first of a series of stories featuring Texas and Oklahoma gins that have signed onto the marketing programs and services offered by Plains Cotton Cooperative Association (PCCA) in recent months.
PCCA is welcoming more gins into its marketing family because making a profit is the basis of all business ventures, and the cotton industry is no different in this aspect.
Each of these gins is looking for a better way to market their members’ cotton and to increase the return on their investment. The South Texas and West Texas/Oklahoma marketing pools are an impressive incentive to many of these growers as well as the knowledge that PCCA has a history of successful ventures. Additional new gins will be featured in future issues of Commentator.
Progreso Coop Gin
The Progreso Coop Gin, south of Progreso, TX, was built in 1968 by several area growers, and three of those original families still remain in the coop. The board of directors there recently voted in favor of joining PCCA’s marketing systems on the advice of Gin Manager Mike Yeary.
“We needed a better way to handle our warehouse receipts, and we needed a better way to sell our cotton and get the best return on our investment,” says Yeary.
Approximately 90 percent of Progreso Coop’s acreage has signed up for PCCA’s South Texas Marketing Pool, he adds, and several members are expected to sign up for PCCA’s mill option.
The average ginning volume for Progreso has risen steadily over the past several years and is estimated to be approximately 12,000 bales this year.
Brownsville Coop Gin
Brownsville Coop Gin, near Los Fresnos, TX, opened in 1947. Previously, the area’s cotton growers had been delivering their cotton to an independent gin, but they were not satisfied with the way their cotton was being marketed.
Today, Brownsville Coop Gin has 25 members and a bale capacity of approximately 12,000 bales per year, explains Charles Minor, manager. Minor says the coop’s members were interested in utilizing the TELCOT system to have an alternate way to market their cotton. He also says many of the members are interested in using PCCA’s South Texas Marketing Pool.
In 1968, two gin facilities were purchased and combined to form the Waterloo Gin near Taylor, TX. A year later renovations were made to try to create a “super gin”, says M.J. Matayastik, manager of the Waterloo Gin.
The pre-existing gins were consolidated, renovated, and provisions were made to add two more gin stands. In 1976, a 72 inch split-stream overhead and two more Lumus gin stands were added followed by a module feeder in 1989, a mote press in 1991 and a Universal Density press in 1992.
“When the gins were purchased it was a good territory to be in,” Matayastik notes. “We decided to combine them into a super gin to be more profitable.”
Ensuing years witnessed reduced cotton acreage in the Taylor area, but PCCA’s South Texas Marketing Pool is offering many growers there an incentive to plant more cotton acreage once again.
“PCCA offers our customers a way to market their cotton more profitably,” Matayastik says.
“PCCA does good things for cotton, and if it is good for cotton it is going to be good for my customers and others in the industry,” the manager adds.
Grady County Gin Association
Grady County Gin Association, formerly the Minco Gin Co. in, Minco, OK, was purchased in 1980 by Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Vickery. The Vickery’s owned and operated the gin for 17 years as an independent gin.
In November, 1997, it was purchased by a group of growers who were looking to increase the returns on their investments by finding a better market for their cotton. Keith Brooking, gin manager, was familiar with the benefits of the marketing systems offered by PCCA and encouraged the owners to look into forming a cooperative and joining PCCA.
“PCCA has the best marketing system for cotton, as well as being one of the most financially stable cotton marketers,” says Brooking. “They also offer several ways to add value to the growers’ cotton such as the mill option.”
The projected annual volume for the gin now is expected to be between 6,000 and 7,000 bales versus 1,600 bales ginned last year.
Powell Gin Co.
Powell Gin Co.was built in 1963 in Powell, Texas. The gin’s average volume is between 5,000 and 7,000 bales per year. The TELCOT system was introduced after several gin customers asked about the program and following a demonstration of the system.
Thus far, they have been “really pleased with the system,” says Earl Ogburn, gin manager. The gin has been transporting its cotton to the Taylor Compress since 1986, and Ogburn estimates 75 percent of the bales ginned at Powell now are committed to PCCA’s South Texas pool.
Edroy Coop Gin
Edroy Coop Gin, near Corpus Christi, was founded in 1935 by growers from Farm Bureau Gin Company, and it has remained the primary gin in that area for the past 63 years.
Coop members there plan to market 95 percent of their cotton through PCCA’s South Texas Marketing Pool, and many of them also plan to participate in the mill option program, says Gin Manager Sid Brough.
In 1997, Edroy Coop Gin acquired an independent gin in Odem. In 1998 they plan to consolidate their efforts and work strictly out of the Odem plant.
Petronila Coop Gin
Petronila Coop Gin started in 1938, in Robstown, TX, after several nearby gins had closed, and Petronila’s Board of Directors recently voted to “join the TELCOT system,” says Diana Milligan, the gin manager.
“The board felt it would be a valuable marketing tool for our members,” says Milligan. Petronila maintains an average volume of approximately 7,000 bales.