Thursday, October 21, 2021

Follow Guidelines For Seed House Safety And Maintenance

seed house
Seed house — photo courtesy Cliff Granberry Corp.

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 2021 cotton ginning season.

Safety Checklist

• Never go beneath a seed hopper that contains seed.

• Provide proper fall protection for all ladders and catwalks.

• Do not enter the seed trailer. Do not climb on the side walls of the trailer while beneath a hopper that contains seed.

• Post decals, “DANGER – DO NOT ENTER AREA BELOW HOPPER DOORS WHEN SEED IS IN STORAGE HOUSE.” These are free from your local ginning association or from www.cliffgranberrycorp.com.

• 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 publication is also available at www.cliffgranberrycorp.com.

• 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.

Use 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 jim@cliffgranberrycorp.com or call 972-381-8899.


TCGA Announces Upcoming Changes

During the general session of the Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association’s annual board of directors and membership meeting, outgoing TCGA President Prentice Fred reflected on some changes the organization has made and ones that are still to come.

TCGA sold its downtown Austin office in September 2019 and has since moved to Round Rock. Tony Williams, TCGA executive vice president, also announced his coming retirement. Originally scheduled to retire at the end of this year, Williams has now agreed to stay through April 2022, completing TCGA’s next annual meeting and cotton trade show.

Since his announced retirement, TCGA’s trade show has been cancelled twice as well as a summer membership meeting. With things returning to somewhat normal regarding the pandemic, the plans are for Williams to be with TCGA through one more summer membership meeting, annual meeting and cotton trade show.

Kelley Green, director of technical services, will assume Williams’ role as executive vice president following the conclusion of the gin show in April 2022. The transition is already taking place as TCGA hired Duncan McCook as manager of regulatory affairs in January 2020. Aaron Nelsen, special projects and communications manager, will assume much of the TCGA meeting planning that Williams has done for many years.

Fred says he strongly feels that TCGA has a good staff and plan in place to serve the organization well moving forward.

The Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association provided this information.


Texas Safety Seminars Return In 2021

As things begin to return to normalcy after months of pandemic restrictions, the Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association says its safety seminars are back this year.

The organization is close to completing the remainder of the schedule, but a couple of locations it has been using are not yet open.

As soon as the dates and locations are set for the remaining seven seminars, TCGA will let you know.

Here are dates and locations for the ones that are set so far:

• June 8 – Weslaco

• June 9 – Corpus Christi

• June 10 – El Campo

Stay tuned for more information.


NCGA Offers Gin Training Seminars

Gin Training Seminars were recently conducted virtually through the National Cottton Ginners’ Association. Please note, the video link, https://www.cotton.org/ncga/ginschool/index.cfm, requires a password. You must be a member of NCGA to view them. The videos are posted on the NCGA website.

Please contact the Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association or NCGA for instructions on how to access the videos.

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