Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Cotton Production and Processing Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #192398


item PARNELL, JR., C
item SHAW, B
item EMSOFF, S
item Wanjura, John

Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/5/2006
Publication Date: 6/30/2006
Citation: Parnell, C.B., Wanjura, J.D., Simpson, S.L., Shaw, B.W., Capareda, S.C. 2006. Systems engineering of seed cotton handling and ginning in Texas. In: Proceedings of the Beltwide Cotton Conference, January 3-6, 2006, San Antonio, TX. 2006 CDROM. p. 708-715.

Interpretive Summary: Cotton production plays a major role in the U.S. economy. Annually, approximately 5 million bales of cotton are grown in Texas. The number of cotton gins in Texas has steadily decreased from around 1400 in the 1960’s to around 260 today. As the number of gins continues to decrease, Texas cotton producers will be faced with new challenges associated with harvesting, storing, and ginning their cotton. Historically, cotton gins have been located in close proximity to where the cotton is grown (10 to 20 miles). Today, with fewer gins, it is not uncommon for cotton modules to be hauled to a gin from as far as 50 miles away. This presents many new problems associated with the current infrastructure set in place to transport harvested seed cotton. The focus of the work presented in this paper was to detail the ongoing progress of a study to determine the optimum size of cotton ginning facilities based on historical financial data. The results of this work show that total ginning costs are minimized when a gin operates at approximately 150% utilization.

Technical Abstract: The number of cotton gins in the U.S. is decreasing while the number of bales produced remains constant or increases. Texas produces and processes approximately 5 million bales with approximately 280 cotton gins, while loosing approximately 20 cotton gins per year. An analysis of the number of gins in the state suggests that the reduction is constant and linear with an R2 = 0.98. There is an indication that by the year 2018, no gins will remain in business. It is likely that more cotton will be processed by existing gins, with associated longer gin seasons, longer transport distances, and module storage areas with associated insurance coverage problems. This paper details a systems engineering project to formulate a simulation model to evaluate the engineering and economic impacts of proposed changes in the traditional processes of harvesting, storing in modules, transporting modules to the gin, and ginning of seed cotton. The results of this work indicate that the minimum cost of ginning occurs at around 150% utilization.