Upholding The Standard

The National Cotton Council is urging its members to use industry approved module wrap products to help achieve zero contamination of seed cotton and lint.

Is there a module wrap standard?

gary adams, ncc
Gary Adams, NCC

The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) developed a rectangular wrap standard about the time the round module wrap was gaining fast acceptance. In 2019, led by Dr. John Wanjura with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, a subcommittee was formed to begin the round module wrap standard development. It was agreed that the standard in place for rectangular modules would be amended to include round module wrap.

The NCC supported this evaluation and wrap standard development while continuing its zero-contamination campaign. That campaign emphasizes the importance of proper round module wrap handling, transport, and removal at the gin to eliminate plastic contamination. Round modules arriving at the gin in good condition (no tears, punctures, loose material or adhesive failures) are far less likely to cause contamination. See www.cotton.org/tech/quality/contamfree.cfm.

ASABE approved its standard, “Cotton Module Cover Material Performance,” in 2022. The NCC then 1) adopted a policy to educate industry on the importance of using approved module wrap material that meets the ASABE standard and 2) agreed to maintain the listing of wrap manufacturers who meet the minimum standard.

Proper use of approved module wrap can significantly reduce seed cotton/lint contamination. Click on image to zoom.

What progress has been made?

NCC staff recently updated its Quality Task Force and noted the voluntary ASABE standard had gained industrywide support. Although Tama’s pink and yellow wrap has been found to perform at an acceptable level by the U.S. cotton industry, there have been contamination issues that the NCC and National Cotton Ginners Association (NCGA) are diligently working to address. For example, there is concern due to Tama’s patents expiring, wrap materials coming into the marketplace would not perform to the level of the standard. Within the last year, there have been many wrap manufacturers introducing alternatives to Tama’s premium wrap.

That’s why some in the industry, including the NCGA, believe the standard should include a requirement that wrap used on U.S. modules meet the minimum performance standard. The recommendation to explore the inclusion of the ASABE Standard as a loan eligibility requirement was approved by NCGA’s Board and submitted to the NCC for consideration. At its 2023 Annual Meeting, the NCC approved the recommendation, and staff are currently conducting an examination of potential loan eligibility requirements. Once staff analysis is complete, the issue will be brought back to the NCC Board for a final determination.

There are multiple companies going through the testing procedures to get their product approved. In the meantime, the NCC urges the use of compliant wrap. A listing of approved wrap manufacturers is at www.cotton.org/tech/quality/approved-rmw-products.cfm. Doing so will greatly reduce plastic contamination and ensure the U.S. cotton industry’s reputation of providing the best quality and contamination free cotton to our textile customers.

Gary Adams serves as president/CEO of the National Cotton Council of America.

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