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cottonfield late in the year

In late fall / early winter the cotton field turns into a blanket of white cotton.  In this picture you can see in the background the cotton stripper. 

cotton stripper unloading

The cotton stripper pulls the cotton bowls off of the cotton stalks and stores them in the bucket behind the cab.  Eventually the cotton is either dumped directly or is hauled (by the tractor/trailer setup you see in this picture) over to a module builder.

module builder loading

The cotton is dumped into the module builder which packs it and compresses the cotton into large blocks. These large blocks make it easy for module trucks to load the modules to be taken to the gin.  Modules are also used because it is easier to cover in case the module has to stay in the field during snow or rain.

module at the gin yard

After the module trucks pickup the modules from fields around the area, they take the modules to the gin yard to be processed.  As you can see in this picture, there are sometimes many modules waiting to be ginned during ginning season. Ginning season typically starts in November and runs until January depending on how much cotton was produced in the area.

truck unloading

The gin strips the white cotton fibers out of the cotton bowl and separates them from the burrs and hulls left over. Cottonseed is also separated and sent to a processing plant which produces cottonseed oil used for cooking.  The burrs and hulls which are the leftovers from the ginning process are then loaded into our trailers.  These livebottom trailers have "live" moving floors which can push the burrs and hulls out the back when arriving at the next step...the burr pile. 

loader at the burrpile

A couple of our trucks take burrs from the cotton gin and dump them at these burr piles.  The burr piles are then pushed into a "rick" of burrs by our loader.  This is to help shed water in case of rain.  Wet burrs are bad burrs!

loading the grinder

After the burrs are "ricked" they can easily be loaded into the grinder. The grinder does exactly what the name says...it grinds the burrs into smaller pieces.  

mack truck loading

Here is a good picture of the grinder at work


Here is a pile of ground burrs - ready to be loaded and hauled away.