Cotton farmers, gins, having hard time with rain

CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) -With all the rain that's fallen in the Ark-La-Tex, Caddo Parish cotton farmers have found themselves idle because they cannot harvest their crops.

Normally at the beginning of October, cotton harvesting is in full gear, but the recent rainfall has left cotton gin workers out of work and cotton farming equipment sitting at a standstill, costing the farmers money.

Cotton farmer Sonny Kirby said he's never seen this much rain threaten his crop. "Once it quits raining then it'll take several days of sunshine. By then, hopefully, the cotton fluffs out and we'll start harvesting the crop," he said.

Even when the rain stops and harvest starts, Kirby said the other problem he faces is much of his crop may be in the mud and ruined.

The recent rain has also given cotton gin owners more than enough free time.

Normally around this time, area cotton gin's are hard at work , but this year the workers are getting off to a slow start, one that's causing cotton gin owners to lose money and production.

Cotton Gin Supervisor Hope Duncan says normally his gin is rolling out 1000 bales of cotton-a-week, but this years' harvest has only produced 500 bales total.

"If it keeps raining, the seeds will sprout on the stalk and they'll be mushy, and it's hard to gin when it gets like that," he said

Duncan said once the rain stops, his gin will be able to pick up production, but there's no doubt the rainfall will have an impact on this year's numbers.

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