December 28, 2005
Boston, Ga. -- Gins across our region are packing up this year's cotton harvest for shipment. Producers say the crop is comprable to 2003's, which was one of the best in recent years.
Bale by bale, the success of South Georgia's cotton crop is stacking up at the Boston Gin Company. "This is probably going overseas, maybe China or either Pakistan."
As Fred Bass prepares the cotton for shipping over the next five months, gin owner Josh Herring tallies the harvest. "Cotton is worth close to 60 cents a pound for the producer, and a 500 pound bale like we've got here is about $300."
A good harvest in spite of this summer's heat wave, saved by its repleneshing rains. "Our planting is usually around the 15th of April to the 15th of May. Havrest usually starts in late September," said Bass.
Finished this week, America expects a 23 million bale crop this year, 15 million of which will be exported, and six million used domestically. "I can't see prices really going up a lot for next year because we will have some carry over. Just depends on what our intended acreage will be for the '06 crop," said Herring.
And whether the demand surpasses the supply. Meantime, South Georgia is trying to increase that demand worldwide. "Our main buyers are Turkey, China, Mexico, Pakistan and Vietnam," said Herring.
"We go in each one of these rows of 72 bales and cut out the bales that they order." Five million dollars of which are right here in Boston.
Outsourcing has reduced the number of spinning mills in South Georgia by about 75% in the last decade. Dooly County is the biggest cotton producer in the state.