Slim pickings for local cotton ginners


MONETTE, AR (KAIT) – It’s no secret that cotton has gone through a slump this year.

Hardships are mounting for the remaining handful of cotton gins scattered throughout the area.

In the September cotton report, the USDA states that Delta cotton production is forecast to reach 2.5 million bales, its lowest in nearly 30 years.

It’s tough news for Melissa Finch, who is overseeing operations at the Kiech-Shauver-Miller Gin Company in the midst of a rough year.

She says cotton production is down 50% from last year.

Finch sites uncooperative weather and thriving grain crops such as corn and soybean for the slump.

However, there’s some promising chatter from the field.

Despite the shrinking number of Arkansas cotton fields, ginners are turning impressive numbers.

“Yield is a way we measure the output and productivity of cotton. This season, some cotton in the Delta is pushing 1,000 pounds per acre, the 3rd highest on record.”

Meteorologist Bryan McCormick will have the story tonight on Region 8 News.