Agricultural awareness tour proves educational

Agriculture generates a lot of economic activity in Hockley County.

That impression was up front and vivid Monday when ‘The Hands That Feed and Clothe Us’ Tour was held in and outside Levelland.

The more than 30 people who went on the tour first visited the United Cotton Growers Gin at Arnett, where they saw cotton streaming through gin stands and bales being made every 45 seconds.

Gin manager Paul Wilson said raw cotton comes from fields to the gin as modules, rectangular blocks that each produce about  12 bales of cotton fiber.

The raw cotton is cleaned and dried as it runs through tubes. A series of saws removes cotton burrs and other trash.

When the six stands are running at peak efficiency, the gin can produce 80 500-pound bales of cotton an hour. The goal, Wilson said, is to make 10,000 bales a week.

Few of the byproducts are wasted.

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