Large Crowd Turns Out For Southern Ginners Meeting

11-12CFcvrThe Southern Cotton Ginners’ Association (SCGA) attracted a crowd of more than 200 to its summer meeting at the Beau Rivage Hotel in Biloxi, Miss., and a wide range of issues was discussed at the event.

Several key speakers made presentations at the open session of the meeting – including Tim Price and Larry Davis (Southern Cotton Ginners), Brad Robb (Cotton Board), Gary Adams (National Cotton Council), Tommy Valco (USDA-ARS) and Joe Nicosia (Allenberg Cotton).

Here is a recap of some of the reports given:

• While acknowledging challenges ahead for Mid-South ginners because of cotton acreage reduction, Price says ginners in this region have shown remarkable resilience in adjusting to a new environment for cotton. He is cautiously hopeful that cotton acreage will rebound in the future.

• Davis, who is in charge of safety programs for SCGA, says the organization continues to have an excellent safety record with no serious injuries incurred among the 126 member gins last year. Twenty-six gins received platinum awards for their excellent safety records.

• Adams, NCC economist, says several scenarios are unfolding in the Farm Bill debate, and he is hopeful that House-Senate conferees can reach agreement on a bill that can be sent to President Obama for his signature. Whatever unfolds, Adams says the NCC will continue to monitor developments in Congress. Time will become a serious constraint when lawmakers return to Washington after the August recess.

• Memphis merchant Nicosia offered another analysis on China’s cotton purchasing patterns. The country now has possession of 58 million bales but continues to purchase U.S. cotton on a regular basis each year. Nobody can predict when China will start releasing some of the cotton it has accumulated in its reserve program. How much longer can China continue to stockpile cotton? Nicosia isn’t sure when that might occur, but he knows that the current trend can’t be sustained indefinitely.

• Ginning expert Valco of USDA-ARS says the contamination issue cannot be ignored and must remain a top priority for the industry. While he is encouraged by ginners’ proactive attitudes about proper handling of the new round modules, he says plastic contaminants are continuing to be found by textile mills.

• Robb, vice president of communication for The Cotton Board, says Cotton Incorporated’s Cotton Competitiveness Conference earlier this summer in Raleigh, N.C., has received excellent feedback from attendees. He also reported that Cotton Incorporated is committed to doing whatever it can to help U.S. cotton regain market share by continuing its updated “Fabric Of Our Lives” campaign.

The Southern Cotton Ginners’ Association contributed information for this article. Contact the SCGA office in Memphis, Tenn., at (901) 947-3104.

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