64 cents per pound
From the field to the gin: here's a look at the journey cotton took after it was harvested on Oct. 18 near Columbus.
Clark Blaine reaches underneath a cotton picker to unclog the spindles that grab cotton in one of Matt Brignacís fields on Oct. 18 off Plymouth Road near Columbus. As the cotton picker moves through the field, it begins to bale the cotton in round modules. Then machine then drops the round modules in the field for another farmhand to pickup with a tractor.
Cotton is about to be harvested on Oct. 18 off Plymouth Road near Columbus.
Cotton flies through the air above the cotton picker as it is harvested on Oct. 18 off Plymouth Road near Columbus.
Clark Blaine operates a cotton picker on Oct. 18 off Plymouth Road near Columbus. Blaine has been working for Matt Brignac for two years and enjoys the work. ďI like working outside. I think itís cool being there when this wasnít anything. We put the seeds in the ground and now itís this,Ē Blaine said. Brignac is on of the stakeholders at Bogue Chitto Gin where his cotton is ginned.
Farmhands parked their tractor between retrieving round cotton modules from the field on Oct. 18 off Plymouth Road in Columbus.
Round cotton modules sit on the side of a field on Oct. 18 before later being picked up and taken to Bogue Chitto Gin near Brooksville. The end of each bale is marked with the farmerís initials so they can be identified as they move to the gin.
Cotton on the exposed side of a round module starts to sag from recent rain on Oct. 29 at Bogue Chitto Gin. Cotton is more difficult to harvest and gin when it is wet. This fallís weather has slowed down some cotton farmersí attempts to harvest their crops.
The Bogue Chitto Gin Inc office and a portion of the 5,000 round cotton modules present on the property can be seen in this photo taken Oct. 29. The gin will be able to process all 5,000 bales in two weeks. Each day they gin 400 round modules, producing four 100 pound rectangle bales from each individual round.
During the harvest season, Bogue Chitto Gin Inc. processes about 400 round modules of cotton each day. After the cotton is weighed, the bales are loaded on a conveyer belt that moves them into the gin.
As the round modules enter the building, they are unwrapped on the conveyer belt before making their way to the gin. During this process, gin operators press a button to pause the belt while each module is unwrapped.
Kenton Mast keeps an eye on the cotton ginís main control board. As the gin separated cotton, Mast sprayed compressed air near the teeth to ensure the lint and seeds are able to separate effectively.
Freshly cleaned cotton lint flies through the air above the baling machine. After the cotton lint is separated in the gin, the lint is then cleaned using steam and re-baled.
Tracy Stepp pulls a sample from a bale of cotton that has just gone through the gin. The sample will be sent to the USDA Classing Office in Memphis where they will grade the cotton and put a value on it according to its quality. Next, the cotton will be loaded on one of the 16 semis that leave Bogue Chitto Gin each day.
Cotton lint coats every surface in the nearby building that houses seeds after they leave the gin. The ginís manager says the lint would be like gunpowder in the case of a fire.
Cody Mast loads cotton seeds onto a truck that will take them to a railcar in Aberdeen. From there the seeds will be transported across the country where they will eventually be added to cattle feed. The seeds contain oils and proteins that are healthy for dairy cows.
Jerel Yoder checks the weight of the seed truck before driving it to Aberdeen where the seeds will be put on a railcar. The truck must weigh less than 84,000 pounds.
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