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Expanding to New Horizons

By Amy Dromgoole

Warehouse Construction

Upon completion, the largest of PCCA’s warehouses in Big Spring, Texas, will store roughly 65,000 bales with an additional 6,000 bales in its staging area.

As the beams go up in Big Spring, Texas, Howard County’s largest city is getting even bigger. In an effort to better serve Plains Cotton Cooperative Association’s (PCCA) members, the construction of a new cotton warehouse has begun and is projected to finish in time for the 2009-10 cotton crop.

For more than 40 years, PCCA owned only two warehouse facilities; one in Sweetwater, Texas, and another in Altus, Oklahoma. However, a combination of new seed technology, increased volume, boll weevil eradication, PCCA’s growing market share, and the strong financial advantages to store cotton indoors, made warehouse growth a vital commitment.

Cotton in front of Warehouse

A nearby cotton field owned by Frank Long borders the new warehouse in Big Spring, Texas.

Currently, PCCA’s Warehouse Division operates cotton storage facilities in Rule and Sweetwater, Texas, Altus and Frederick, Oklahoma, and Liberal, Kansas. PCCA’s TELMARK Division also owns a facility in Memphis, Texas. With the Big Spring warehouse, PCCA’s Warehouse Division will have storage capacity in excess of one million bales.

“Increased cotton production in recent years necessitated an expansion of our cotton warehouse operations in the western areas of our trade territory,” Dean Church, Vice President of Grower Services for PCCA said. “We evaluated several good sites and determined the Big Spring site best fit our needs.”

In this first-year phase, the cooperative has plans to employ at least six people and construct two warehouse buildings in Big Spring. Upon completion, a total of 100,000 bales easily can be stored in the 330,000 square-foot and 170,000 square-foot buildings.

“We’re very excited about the new warehouse facility,” said Church. “Our latest expansion will be a great benefit to our members due to the fact that we’ll be able to store bales more economically and efficiently.”