Amarillo’s KVII recently traveled up to Spearman, Texas, to have a look inside the nation’s largest cotton gin.
The Adobe Walls Gin is by far the largest structure in the small Panhandle town of just over 3,000 people. The $15 million operation, which was built 12 years ago, gins out about 300,000 bales a year.
Adobe Walls General Manager Jerrell Key said the gin has been going gangbusters, far outpacing expectations. Key noted that the land where the gin sits was CRP land until recently, with the federal government paying the county about $3 per acre. Now, the massive cotton is paying out $100,000 in taxes yearly.
Key added that cotton makes a good crop for the Texas Panhandle, as it requires less water than corn or wheat. The Adobe Walls Gin is owned by a partnership of over 50 local farmers. Key said there’s some local pride in Adobe Walls being the largest in the nation. But in the end, he added, “we’re just here to gin cotton.”