Development of Decision Support Software to Estimate the Cost of Transporting and Ginning of Seed Cotton
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The number of cotton gins in the state of Texas has declined from over 1,400 gins in 1960 to less than 232 gins in 2011. Texas has experienced an increase in cotton production since that time, and now remains relatively constant at 5.5 million bales ginned annually. A Decision Support Software package was produced and published for cotton ginners to determine the economic risks and benefits of transporting seed cotton modules from the field to the gin. Using gin data from U.S Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service and Texas Cotton Ginner’s Association from 2005-2010, the software package has aided many in the cotton industry to determine the limits of economic viability of seed cotton transport in remote areas where long distance module hauling was imminent. The increasing production of seed cotton along with the decreasing number of cotton gins in Texas justifies the need for an updated software package with the goal of more efficient cotton handling and ginning systems. Specifically, fewer gins and increased production will likely result in transporting seed cotton longer distances. Using reported gin data from 2011 U.S Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service and data from cooperating gins, the previous transportation model produced in 2009 is being updated to reflect current economic conditions. This paper explains how non-conventional module types were incorporated into the transportation calculator to aid cotton ginners and producers in making sound management decisions relating to module transportation. It also details analysis that indicate factors that have the greatest impact on the cost of transportation as well as methods to determine the breakeven point of owning trucks compared to contracting trucks.
Grier, Jordan Lee (2014). Development of Decision Support Software to Estimate the Cost of Transporting and Ginning of Seed Cotton. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from