Focus On Seed House Safety And Maintenance

Elevated seed houses are valuable for short-term seed storage, wet seed storage and gins with limited yard space. Design improvements allow overhead seed houses to be an efficient method for loading trucks from flat-storage houses and gins.

When fully loaded, a double-hopper seed house can weigh 200,000 pounds or more. Structural integrity is critical.

Volatile weather can put older seed houses at risk, especially those not properly maintained. Through the years, moisture and chemicals from seed along with humidity cause the inevitable — rust and corrosion. Since the damage primarily occurs inside the seed house, it is out of sight and mind. If a structural failure occurs, personnel are at risk of injury.

All cotton gin managers should review their overhead seed house safety and maintenance procedures before the start of the 2023 cotton ginning season.

Observe Safety Checklist

Never go beneath a seed hopper that contains seed.

Provide proper fall protection for all ladders and catwalks.

Never enter the seed trailer or climb on the side walls of the trailer while beneath a hopper that contains seed.


These are free from your local ginning association or from

Contact your ginning association or loss control representative to get a copy of the “Cottonseed System Safety Policy” for employees, visitors and outside contractors, such as seed haulers. This is also available at

Be sure to use all other known gin safety procedures daily.

Maintenance And Repair Tips

All proper safety precautions including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) should be taken by all personnel who perform maintenance and repairs.

Clean out all seed.

Clean hopper panels to remove seed oil.

Smooth the inside surfaces of the hopper panels again.

Carefully examine the entire seed house for stress fractures and loose hardware, especially if industrial vibrators have been used.

Remove rust and corrosion.

Benefits Of The Catwalk

Best industry practices include using a trailer-viewing catwalk mounted on the outside of the vertical columns, about 9.5 feet above the driveway. This structure provides a good vantage point to see into the tops of the trailers to determine when to open and close the hopper doors.

Jim Granberry, president of Cliff Granberry Corp., contributed this article. Email or call 972-381-8899.

2023 Ginners School Information

The third Ginners School for 2023 will be held June 6-8 at the USDA Ginning Research Laboratory in Stoneville, Mississippi. To register, go to Due to limited class size and availability, there will be no onsite registration.

Course Descriptions

Each level of ginners school coursework is built on the previous level of instruction, with Level I as the foundation. Therefore, the school’s coordinators strongly recommend that beginning students, regardless of gin experience, start with Level I.  Levels I, II and III are all three-day courses, therefore students enroll for one level per school.

Level I

Introduction to Cotton Ginning and Ginning Demonstration

• Basic Gin Safety

• Basic Hydraulics

• Air Utilization

• Electricity in the Gin

• Maintenance and Adjustment for Seed Cotton Cleaners, Gin Stands and Lint Cleaners

• Maintenance of Auxiliary Components

• Classing Cotton

• Moisture Measurement

• Review of the Cotton Industry

• Waste Collection and Disposal

Level II

• Purpose and Operating Principles of Individual Gin Machines

• Efficient Operation, Adjustment and Maintenance of Gin Equipment

• Pneumatics and Waste Collection

• Electrical Systems

• Hydraulic Systems

• Gin Safety

• Management Tips

• Roller Ginning (at the Western School only)

Level III

• Review of Functions of a Ginning System

• Electrical Systems

• Air Systems in the Gin

• Drying and Moisture Restoration Systems

• Matching Machinery Capacities in the System

• Seed Cotton Unloading Systems

• Management of Seed Cotton Handling Systems

• Bale Presses and Hydraulic Systems

• Safety Programs and Labor Regulations

• Cottonseed Handling Systems

• Roller Ginning (at the Western School only)

The 2023 continuing education schedule is being developed and may be different for each of the three schools.  Please note that the information included in Continuing Education session may not be suitable for all certified ginners, and therefore, may want to consider Level III as an alternative.

Certified Ginner Program

Please note, to maintain your certification, you must complete twelve hours of continuing education (CE) credits over a three-year period. For example, if you received your certification in 2020, then, to remain in good standing in the program, you will need to complete your twelve CE hours in 2023.

• Continuing education course work will be offered each year in conjunction with the annual ginner’s sponsored National Cotton Ginners Association course work will receive one credit hour.

• CE Cotton Beltwide Conference participation provides one hour credit for each hour of participation.

• Re-taking Ginners credit.

• Participation in local association schools, workshops, seminars and ginners tradeshows may be eligible for CE credit. An agenda and participation form must be submitted to NCGA. Upon review, any CE credit hour (Ginners) will be assigned to the participant. 

If you have questions, email or call 901-274-9030.

Cotton’s Calendar May 17: PCCA Board of Directors Meeting, Lubbock, Texas May 18: Calcot Board of Directors Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona May 31-June 2: Texas Cotton Association’s 112th Annual Convention, La Cantera Resort & Spa, San Antonio, Texas June 4-7: NCPA 2023 Annual Meeting, Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa, Tucson, Arizona June 11-13: Cotton Incorporated Board Meeting, Marriott Dallas Uptown, Dallas, Texas June 14-16: 2023 ACSA Annual Convention, The Montage, Park City, Utah June 21: Staplcotn Board Meeting, 214 W Market Street, Greenwood, Mississippi June 21: PCCA Board, Delegate Body & Marketing Pool Committee Meetings, Lubbock, Texas July 12-15: Cottonseed & Feed Association Annual Meeting, Allegretto Resort, Paso Robles, California

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