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Floydada Cooperative Gin
Type of Operation: Cotton gin
Size of Operation: 60,000 bales
Years in Business: 60
Farm Credit Partner: Panhandle-Plains Land Bank
Years Working with Farm Credit: 11
Ginning it fast and ginning it right makes all the difference in the cotton industry, and Floydada Cooperative Gin’s ability to consistently do just that is why the coop has almost doubled in size over the past decade.
Technology has certainly played an important role in increasing the gin’s capacity, not only new technology like the Farm Credit-financed press installed in 2006, but also managing their existing technology. “We’ve made sure to repair the gin correctly, and made modifications to improve efficiencies,” says Aaron Hendricks, general manager at Floydada Coop. “One of the things that’s made this gin is the dryers,” he adds, explaining that properly and accurately drying the cotton before ginning enables them to remove all the trash – things like seed pods, stems and dirt – out before ginning to remove the seeds. Humidifiers are also onsite to add moisture back in to the cotton once it’s ginned so it’s ready for cotton mills to process. The cotton is then pressed into 500 pound bales, which are sent to Plains Cotton Cooperative Association, which markets and sells the cotton.
This focus on efficiency has increased capacity to 60,000 bales annually, up from 26,000 bales in 2001. The cotton is provided by 45 area producers, who are also counted among the coop’s 205 stockholders, sharing in the profits. “We’ve gotten efficiencies down to where we’re ginning more efficiently and consistently paying dividends,” says Aaron. This makes for a stable group of producers and well-satisfied stockholders.
Machinery doesn’t operate itself, and Aaron points to their quality employees as important contributors to the gin’s success. With six full-time employees throughout the year, Floydada ramps up to 60 employees during harvest season, which runs from October through December. During that time, the gin runs 24/7, processing 1,000 bales in a day.
The technical efficiencies and quality labor force combined with strong management practices position Floydada Coop Gin to withstand fluctuations in the market. Last year’s drought reduced cotton production, and therefore ginning requirements, significantly. Despite this, Floydada still made a profit and was able to deliver patronage dividends to its member-owners.