Make Seed House Safety And Maintenance A Top Priority

Overhead seed houses are valuable for short-term seed storage, wet seed storage and gins with limited yard space. With recent design improvements, overhead seed houses can also provide a highly efficient method for loading trucks from flat-storage houses.

When fully loaded, a double-hopper seed house can weigh 200,000 pounds or more. This load hovers above trucks and personnel, so structural integrity is critical. Volatile weather can put older seed houses at risk, especially those that have not been 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’s out of sight and mind. If a structural failure occurs, personnel are put at risk of injury.
All cotton gins should review their overhead seed house safety and maintenance procedures before the start of the 2016 cotton ginning season.

Safety Tips
• Never go beneath a seed hopper when it contains seed.
• Be sure all ladders and catwalks are properly guarded.
• Do not enter the seed trailer or climb on the side walls of the trailer.
• Post decals “DANGER – DO NOT ENTER AREA BELOW HOPPER DOORS WHEN SEED IS IN STORAGE HOUSE.” Available free from your local ginning association.
• 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.
• Use all other commonly known safety practices every day.

• All proper safety precautions should be taken by all personnel who perform maintenance and repairs.
• Clean out all seed.
• Clean hopper panels to remove seed oil. Steam cleaning consistently works well.
• Make the inside surfaces of the hopper panels smooth again. Sanding and steel brushing reportedly work well.
• Carefully examine the entire seed house for stress fractures and loose hardware, especially if vibrators have been used.
• Remove rust and corrosion.

Trailer-Viewing Catwalk
The best industry practices include the use of a trailer-viewing catwalk mounted on the outside of the vertical columns, approximately 9.5 feet above the driveway. This provides the operator a good vantage point to see into the tops of the trailers and to determine when to open and close the hopper doors.

Jim Granberry, president of Cliff Granberry Corp., contributed this story. Email him at or call (972) 381-8899. Visit

Notice To Gins Doing Business With TEEMCO
The Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association recently reported that it has received calls from several gins that have used TEEMCO in the past with a concern that they cannot contact the company. TCGA says it does appear that TEEMCO has gone out of business.

“If your gin used TEEMCO to develop a Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure plan, or if you were using them to do your Tier II reporting, you will likely need to find a new firm to help you,” TCGA says. “Give our association office a call, and we will be glad to help you find another firm to do these services.
“Tier II reporting is a high priority, as this program requires an annual report. The SPCC plans do require updates, but only every five years, or whenever there is a material change to your facility. Please give us a call at 512-476-8388 if you have any questions about Tier II reporting or SPCC plans in general.”

Cotton’s Calendar

June 7-9: Cotton Incorporated Meeting, Dallas, Texas.
June 26-28: TCGA Summer Meeting, Omni La Mansión del Rio, San Antonio, Texas.
July 31-Aug. 3: Southern Southeastern Board Meeting, Amelia Island, Fla.
Aug. 2-4: Cotton Board/Cotton Incorporated Meeting, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Aug. 17: PCCA Board Meeting and
Delegate Body Meeting, Lubbock, Texas.
Aug. 24-26: NCC Board Meeting,
Memphis, Tenn.
Sept. 21: Staplcotn Annual Meeting,
Greenwood, Miss.

Jan. 4-6: Beltwide Cotton Conferences, Dallas, Texas.
Jan. 18-21: Southern Southeastern Annual Meeting, Charlotte, N.C.
Feb. 10-12: NCC Annual Meeting, Dallas, Texas.
Feb. 28-March 1: Cotton Board Meeting.
April 6-7: Texas Cotton Ginners
Association Trade Show, Lubbock, Texas.
June 6-8: Cotton Incorporated Meeting.
Aug. 8-10: Cotton Board/Cotton
Incorporated Joint Meeting.
Aug. 23-25: NCC Board Meeting, Peabody Hotel, Memphis, Tenn.
Dec. 5-7: Cotton Board/Cotton
Incorporated Joint Meeting.

Jan. 3-5: Beltwide Cotton Conferences, San Antonio, Texas.
Feb. 9-11: NCC Annual Meeting, Ft. Worth, Texas.
April 5-6: Texas Cotton Ginners
Association Trade Show, Lubbock, Texas.

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