Ginners Adapting To New Challenges

By Tommy Horton

One of the most exciting times of the year is upon us. Yes, we know that most of our readers are college football fans and are counting down the days until the first game. We’re also aware that there are a lot of hunters and fishermen who mark important dates on the calendar in the fall. For anyone affiliated with the cotton industry, however, this is the season for harvesting the crop and delivering it to the gin. Every producer and ginner points to this time of year – and hopes that everything possible was done to deliver high-quality cotton.

This is also the month when our magazine expands its ginning coverage to find out how preparations are progressing in anticipation of receiving the crop. At Cotton Farming, we take particular pride in our relationship with ginners. Several years ago, we became the official publication for the ginning industry and are continuing the efforts of our predecessor, Cotton Gin and Oil Mill Press magazine. For more than 20 years, we’ve also been the co-sponsor of the Texas Cotton Ginners Association’s Annual Meeting and Trade Show.

Our ginning readers can find monthly updates about the latest developments in their industry by going to the magazine’s Cotton Ginners Marketplace section. It offers a report from either Tommy Valco (USDA-ARS, Stoneville, Miss.) or Ed Hughs (USDA-ARS, Mesilla Park, N.M.) on ginning research, as well as ads from various equipment companies.

However, in September, we expand our coverage by doing a special report on a gin as well as publishing a review of the Southern Cotton Ginners’ summer meeting. On pages 8 and 9, you’ll find a story on the Farmers Union Gin in Senath, Mo. The update from the Southern Cotton Ginners is on page 10, and Ed Hughs has written the monthly ginning report on page 18.

On my recent trip to Missouri, I saw firsthand how technology has become such a big part of the Farmers Union Gin. After spending time with Charles Parker and Steve Harris, it’s easy to see why this gin has such an excellent reputation with producers. Parker is a producer but also has been one of the owners of the gin since 1980. Harris is the long-time gin manager. This gin unveiled its wrapper system in 2007 when it began processing round modules. It has tried to stay updated in gin technology every year in an effort to offer the best service to its customers.

It’s hard to think of another industry sector that has had to adapt to technology quicker than gins. Every time a new development occurred, ginners and equipment companies responded. We salute ginners for being such reliable partners with cotton producers.

Teamwork always delivers.

If you have comments, send them to: Editor, Cotton Farming Magazine, 1010 June Road, Suite 102, Memphis, Tenn., 38119. Or send e-mail to:

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