Cotton warehouse to close

Published 6:08 pm Tuesday, July 15, 2008

LeRoy Deavenport does not want to retire.

Deavenport has been the director and partial owner of the Leland Compress cotton warehouse since 1984.

After August 1, Deavenport, along with the Leland Compress’ five other full-time employees, might have to get used to doing nothing. Declining cotton acreage has forced the century-old warehouse to close down.

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Deavenport says that with farmers planting so little cotton, he has dim hopes that anyone will want to buy his 17,000-cotton-bale-capacity warehouse.

The story of the Leland Compress is not unique. Cotton-related businesses across the Delta are suffering as farmers trade the former king crop for corn and soybeans.

Since 2006, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says Mississippi’s cotton acreage has dropped by 70 percent.