The Bayside-Richardson Co-op Gin is getting close to opening its doors for the 2018 cotton harvest season.
This is less than a year after Hurricane Harvey devastated the gin and caused millions of dollars in damage.
Last cotton season, many South Texas farmers were on the verge of harvesting one of the best crops ever in Texas, but thanks to Hurricane Harvey ripping through the lower Coastal Bend, bales of harvested cotton were blown apart, blanketing trees and fields, and putting the Bayside-Richardson Co-op Gin out of commission for the season.
"The gin property itself looks like we are going to come in at $1.3 million in loss. Cotton loss that belongs to the producers, is going to be a little over $6 million," said Bayside-Richardson Co-op Gin manager David Wyatt.
The rebuilding process has been on the slow side.
"With the devastation throughout the Coastal Bend, construction crews are hard to come by and hard to hold on to. So it just takes a lot of time to get everything put back together," said Wyatt.
With the cotton harvesting season just around the corner, David Wyatt, manager of the Co-op Gin, says he is very optimistic that the gin will be up and running.
"Not being ready is not an option. In 90 days we are going to be up and running again. So there is no time to spare. We have not slowed down at all, and we have hit the ground running, and that is what we will continue to do till we are through," said Wyatt.
Experts say the massive storm cost cotton farmers millions, and they don’t know if or when they will recover.
"They already have a new crop in the ground, and they already had to finance that new crop, seed, fertilizer, fuel, labor, and they had to do it without their profits proceeds from last season."
As for the Bayside-Richardson Co-op Gin, they will survive, but they will never make up the millions they lost on the crop they were unable to gin last year.
"We were insured property-wise, but the revenues are gone. We just have to hope for another big one in the future to help offset it," said Wyatt.