Ginners need to be ready for anything.
It happens almost every year. Some kind of adverse weather or harvest condition complicates an already hectic job. It seems like gin season will never get here, and then all of a sudden it’s “all hands on deck” and we’re running 24/7. Then it happens. A huge rainstorm, snow, ice, wind, flood…. I could continue. And all the preparation goes out the window.
As farmers move through harvest, the crop they’ve cared for all season is now out of their control. While some are relieved, others get very nervous. The ginners take over and bring the crop in, sort out the modules and gin the cotton to get the best return for their producers. Weather can be a huge wrench thrown in all that normally smooth-running machinery.
Dealing With Adverse Weather
In my short career, I’ve probably not seen it all, but I’ve seen a lot. I’ve been so proud to work with an industry that just handles it – the diversity thrown at farmers and ginners while trying to get a crop out. The first year I started, the upper Texas coast had huge flooding. Fields went under water and module trucks were pushed and pulled to the cotton that had been picked days before the floods. They cut the modules, left the rotting cotton in the field and got more cotton to the gin than anyone could have expected. That’s just one example.
In the past couple years, West Texas has seen huge snows, and the Southeast has had massive rains from tropical systems. The ginners just handle it. This year, from South Texas to the Carolinas, ginners are handling cotton that isn’t completely defoliated, has sprouted, is soggy and, yes, much of it is BEAUTIFUL.
Most ginners take the time necessary to get the job done. This typically means changing the process of ginning the cotton, which includes cleaning lint cleaners more often, slowing down and spreading out wet modules to let them air out.
‘The Best Ones Don’t Panic’
One of the lessons I’ve learned by working for these guys (farmers and ginners) is that the best ones don’t panic. There may be a cost involved in slowing down and waiting, but there is often a bigger price to pay for rushing through the process – poor seed, worse grades, moldy bales and mad farmers can all result from rushing the crop through
The crop has spent several months growing and maturing. We should all take the time to let it dry (if possible) and be in good condition as harvest and ginning are completed.
Good luck through the rest of another interesting harvest and gin season.
Dusty Findley of the Southeastern Cotton Ginners Association contributed this article. Contact him at 706-344-1212 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Port of Oakland’s Largest Terminal Says Night Gates Here To Stay
After a three-month trial, “night gates” are here to stay at the Port of Oakland’s busiest marine terminal.
The port announced that the Oakland International Container Terminal will make evening operations permanent. The decision makes Oakland one of the few U.S. ports open late for container pick-up or delivery. The port says night gates will continue to take pressure off busier daytime operations. “This is an important step,” says maritime director John Driscoll. “We’re making it easier for customers to do business with us by saving time and improving efficiency.”
Oakland International Container Terminal launched night gates June 27. They’re open Monday through Thursday, 6 p.m. to 3 a.m., for truck drivers to haul cargo.
Night Gates Make A Difference
According to data compiled by the terminal and the Port, here’s the difference they’re making:
About 1,300 container transactions have migrated from day to evening.
The average transaction time for truck drivers has dropped from 96 minutes in August to 79 minutes.
Thirty percent of trucking companies at the port have reduced congestion surcharges assessed customers for picking up containers.
The port surveyed cargo owners and found that 74 percent of those queried use Oakland night gates.
The reason: there’s less terminal crowding at night.
Sixty-five percent say transaction times have improved thanks to night gates.
That’s important because cargo owners have lobbied hard for faster container-handling, according to the port.
“The system is working and customers are paying less,” says Scott Taylor, CEO of GSC Logistics, one of the largest trucking companies at the port. “Things are better and we’re saving time.”
Fee Stays In Place
The Oakland International Container Terminal will continue to charge customers a $30 fee to finance night gates. The terminal assesses the levy on all loaded import and export containers.
About 6,000 trucks pass through the terminal’s gates daily, making it one of the busiest in the United States. It handles 70 percent of the containerized cargo in Oakland.
“The Cotton Chronicle,” which is the newsletter of the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Associations, contributed this article.
Nov. 15: Calcot Ltd. Board of Directors Meeting, Bakersfield, Calif.
Dec. 6-8: Cotton Board/Cotton Incorporated Joint Meeting, Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans, La.
Jan. 4-6: Beltwide Cotton Conferences, Dallas, Texas.
Jan. 18-21: Southern Southeastern Annual Meeting, Charlotte, N.C.
Jan. 30-Feb. 1: Conservation Systems Cotton & Rice Conference, Baton Rouge, La.
Feb. 10-12: NCC Annual Meeting, Dallas, Texas.
March 3-4: Mid-South Farm & Gin Show, Memphis, Tenn.
April 6-7: Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association Trade Show, Lubbock, Texas.
June 6-8: Cotton Incorporated Meeting.
July 10-12: Southern Southeastern Mid-Year Board Meeting, Marriott Grand Dunes, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Aug. 8-10: Cotton Board/Cotton Incorporated Joint Meeting.
Aug. 23-25: NCC Board Meeting, Peabody Hotel, Memphis, Tenn.