Photos by Logan Hawkes
Cotton producers from the Mid-South participating in the P.I.E. Tour were shuffled around Lubbock and Corpus Christi by charter bus.
P.I.E. producers from the Delta visited nearby Kingsville on day two of the Corpus Christi leg of the annual tour.
Lunch was a welcome stop at the popular Butch's Steakhouse in the city made famous by the beef raised at the nearby King Ranch.
Restaurant owner Richard "Butch" Roecker doles out Texas hospitality to visiting producers before lunch.
Larry Smith, Program Director, Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation, addressed producers and provided an update on the current status of the program.
Boll weevil numbers
Smith talked about the latest boll weevil numbers.
P.I.E. Tour visits Cantwell Mattress factory in Corpus Christi, where cotton remains king
Cantwell Mattress Company's Curtis Cantwell, Sr., welcomes Mid-South cotton producers to his mattress factory.
Despite some automated processes, Cantwell mattresses still require the human touch.
Clean cotton is used to top mattresses and is tucked under and attached to steel springs.
Rolls of tufted covers are prepared as part of the mattress building process.
Grade of cotton is important
Participants in the annual P.I.E. tour listen as Curtis Cantwell explains the importance of the grade of cotton he uses in his factory.
Gulf Compress Co-op was on the list of attractions during the first day on the Corpus Christi leg of the tour.
Compress CEO David Fields welcomes cotton producers to Gulf Compress at the Port of Corpus Christi.
David Fields explains the co-op philosophy and how cotton is received, warehoused and shipped.
Visiting P.I.E. producers listen intently as David Fields explains the challenges of moving cotton to buyers efficiently.
First cotton of 2015 is yet to arrive, but a small amount of 2014 cotton remains warehoused.
Marine Development Center
A break from normal business, producers got the chance to visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Marine Development Center in Corpus Christi and enjoyed the live fish at the hatchery.
Port of Corpus Christi
Producers are taken on a bus tour of the expanding Port of Corpus Christi. NCC host guide Dwight Jackson explained how the port is expanding to dock large container ships that will soon be traveling through the Panama Canal, bringing relief to West Coast shipping woes.
Rieder Grain Facility
P.I.E. producers visited Rieder Grain Facility for dinner and a tour.