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Rains Dampen La Feria Cotton’s Hopes of Record Breaking Year

Some of the hundreds of unprocessed cotton bales sitting outside the gin. Photo: Tony Vindell/LFN

by Tony Vindell/LFN

The Rio Grande Valley cotton harvest has been going at full swing, except last week as rain slowed down picking up the white stuff.

But the gins in operation continue to process bales that are shipped all over the country and overseas as well.

Although some cotton fields were impacted by the June rains, this year’s crop is in good shape.

La Feria Coop Gin is having one of its best years processing cotton bales.

And if everything goes as well as it has been so far, the gin could set a record ginning cotton.

“We were expecting a record breaking year,” Cris Martinez, the gin’s office manager, said. “We expected to reach the 50,000-bale mark.”

However, last week’s rain impacted production and cotton quality.

Martinez said they have lowered their expectation to perhaps 40,000 bales.

The gin here has benefited from the gin in Lyford that is closed due to a decline of cotton production in Willacy County.

The Valley cotton gins have been in decline since the 1950s.

Less than a dozen gins remain in operation in the Valley today, compared to about 50 back then.

A load of cotton bales coming out of the gin in La Feria. Photo: Tony Vindell/LFN

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