Bad Day on the Farm

It's cotton harvest time in the Brazos Valley and it's been going pretty well up until Wednesday. The harvest came to a screeching halt about 3:30 in the afternoon. Daddy was running the module builder, my cousin was on the boll buggy and my uncle was driving the picker. 

The picker was way down on the far end of the field and my cousin was on the way to go pick up the cotton from the basket. He saw smoke coming from behind the cab and called my uncle to shut it down and get off. Shortly after, the entire machine was engulfed in flames. 

Luckily, no one was hurt! They had recently filled it with grease to keep all the parts lubricated and it was pretty full of fuel. The gas tank was plastic so it didn't explode, but when it melted, it turned into an inferno and was further fueled by the grease. The basket was full of cotton and it all on fire. The smoke could be seen for miles.

Snook and Somerville Volunteer Firefighters came out to assist. God bless them too! They made a good path to the picker with the large trucks and put out what they could. They all decided to let the cotton in the basket burn itself out or it would have been a mushy mess. 

As you can see in this photo to the right, the cab and the seat where my uncle sat is no longer in existence. There's nothing like the smell of rubber tires and a bunch of cotton burning!

The guys are either going to have to hire someone to get the rest of their cotton out (over 125 acres) or get help or it's going to sit. There's no salvaging this. 

I gathered up my Mama and some bottles of water and headed to the field as soon as we got the word.They all just looked like they had the starch taken out of them and it was shaping up to be a nice harvest too. So heart-breaking!

So what does a Farmer's Daughter do when her Daddy's cotton picker goes up in flames?  She makes him a big pot of comfort food of course - aka Chicken & Dumplings. I know he enjoyed it, but it wasn't exactly a celebratory meal. God bless the farmers! 🚜

KBTX, our local CBS station out of Bryan/College Station, didn't make it out to the field in time for good footage, but they were able to use some of our photos in the evening newscast. Not something you see everyday. Thank the Lord!


  1. Combine or cotton picker fires are the worst things. To have managed to get your crop through to mature and then lose the tools to gain a profit. Praying for the successful picking of the remaining acres.


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