At the 2012 Mid-South Farm & Gin Show, a group of east Mississippi cotton producers had a handshake commitment to build a state-of-the-art cotton gin near Brooksville, Miss. In March, stock had been sold, a board of directors named, and a deal signed. In late October, the $6.5 million Bogue Chitto gin was up and running. The area centering around Noxubee County consistently has some of the highest cotton yields in Mississippi. It's expected the facility will gin 35,000 bales from the 2012 crop.
1. HISTORIC NAME
The gin is named for Bogue Chitto Creek, which runs just north of the property. The name derives from "bok chit," meaning "big creek" in the Choctaw Indian language, and refers to clear, swift flowing streams/rivers.
2. MODULES COMING IN
An area producer pulls round modules onto the gin scales for weighing. A bit less than half the 2012 cotton ginned was from round modules.
3. STORAGE AREA
The gin is located near a former hog production facility and has ample room for storing both conventional and round modules, says Jay Hoover, director of gin operations.
Modules, both conventional and round, are loaded from trucks to the feeder conveyor. The gin has three trucks to haul modules, and some customers bring in their own cotton.
The Cherokee Roundup machine lifts and unwraps the covering from round modules as they move into the gin.
Plastic covers from round modules are packaged and recycled.
7. GIN MANAGER
Doug Dahlem, left, gin manager, had previously managed gins in Louisiana and Mississippi. The gin has 24 employees and runs two 12-hour shifts.
8. CHEROKEE EQUIPMENT
The spacious gin interior includes two Cherokee 244 gin stands. Cherokee provided a turnkey package for the new gin.
9. PROCESSING COTTON
A closeup of one of the gin stands in operation.
10. FINISHED BALE
A pressed bale comes out of the strapping machine.
11. IT'S A WRAP
Bales are wrapped prior to loading for shipment to warehouses.
Finished bales are picked up and loaded on trucks for shipment to Staplcotn and Federal Compress warehouses at Greenwood, Miss.
13. SEED STORAGE
The gin's seed house will hold 8,500 tons of cotton seed.
14. COW FEED
Most of the gin's cotton seed goes to dairies for feed. Jay Hoover checks out one of the mountains of seed.
15. HAULING COTTON
Taking a break after hauling cotton to the gin is Mark Fleming, with Joe Huerkamp's farm.
16. AREA PRODUCERS
Noxubee County, Miss. cotton producers Joe Huerkamp, left, and Lee Skinner, center, chat with Jay Hoover during a visit to the gin.