The San Patricio County Sheriff’s Office in Sinton, Texas, posted photos online this week showing the vandalism of several round cotton modules in several farm fields near Taft, Texas.
San Patricio County Sheriff Oscar Rivera shared photos of the damaged modules over Facebook Aug. 19, asking for the public’s help in finding those responsible. He said at least 15 round cotton modules were damaged overnight, with the vandalism ranging from completely cutting open modules to others with various cuts. Incident reports state that the loss of individual farmers ranged from $4,800 to $28,800.
Modules with smaller slashes and cuts may still be ginnable. Modules that had their wrapping completely cut and removed may be total losses, depending on if the gin can salvage any of the loose cotton from the ground and avoid soil contamination. The damage may or may not be covered by the farmer’s insurance.
The modules, which can hold about 16 bales worth of cotton, are typically stored in the farmer’s fields waiting transport to the gin yard. From there they’ll eventually get ginned into cotton bales weighing roughly 480 pounds each. New round cotton modules are starting to become popular with cotton farmers for their added protection of the crop from the elements, thus preserving the cotton quality.
Sheriff Rivera asked the public to share any information they have to help find the suspect or suspects and bring them to justice by calling the office at 361-364-9600, or the Crime Stoppers line at 1-800-245-8477.
Jennifer M. Latzke can be reached at 620-227-1807 or firstname.lastname@example.org.