The number of bales of cotton in the U.S. classified as rough preparation is generally less than 0.5% of the crop. In 1994, at least 12 gins representing 350,000 bales had greater than 5% preparation calls. Data from these gins were analyzed by frequency analyses across time to isolate occurrence patterns. Results were extremely variable and did not indicate a clear pattern across the entire season for all gins; several groupings of gins with similar chronological patterns were developed. At one gin, analyses by producer clearly indicated a strong relationship between producer and preparation calls as preparation ranged from 0% to 13.6% across producers. A number of causatives such as inadequate drying, excessive conveying velocities, machine overloading, incorrect machine settings, and recirculation in vacuum dropper and blow boxes were indentified and possible solutions were suggested to help resolve the preparation problem.