The facility was used by D&P and Jim Olvey, an independent Arizona-based cotton breeder. He used the site to store seed cotton test plot samples, and they were lost. I am getting a lot of calls from growers asking if the fire affected our seed supplies. It did not," said Bill White, Deltapine's district sales manager in Visalia, Calif. "We had no commercial seed stored in the building."
"We had pretty well ginned off the samples we needed to," said Olvey, who developed several cottons now marketed by Deltapine.
"The fire may have set us back in volume of certain things, but we have back up samples stored elsewhere," said Olvey. "I learned a long time ago to backup everything. I have had nurseries hailed out. It was not hail, but a fire — nevertheless, most everything we had in the building was duplicated elsewhere."
"The fire set us back, but not much," he said.
Gary Fuqua of Delta and Pine Land Co. in Stoneville, Miss., flew to California to meet with insurance adjusters immediately after the fire and said the loss would not be as high as the $700,000 initially estimated by firefighters.
"It is going to take a lot of electrical work to get the small gin back up and running. However, that and damage to the building should not be over $250,000."
There were only about 38 bags of seed in the building and they were set aside primarily for test plots, according to Fuqua.
The cause of the 4 a.m. fire has not been determined, but firefighters do not suspect arson.