Ginner's Viewpoint

Robert W. Greene


If we can quickly and accurately evaluate the fiber properties and ideally determine those properties during the ginning process, ginners could respond through in-line process changes, thus producing the best bale that the seedcotton can produce. For this to be possible, we must work for increased funding and support for our gin research labs. They should be encouraged to continue current projects concerning in-line process evaluation and response.

Growers will, through the pricing system, be encouraged to harvest their crop for quality, making the ginner's job easier, but also more demanding. If the grower delivers quality seedcotton to the gin, and the ginner overgins, over dries, or in some other way does a poor job custom processing the cotton, the system should identify this and discount the value of the bale to the grower accordingly.

I believe we will see a continuing of the trend to large, well managed, vertically integrated, and well capitalized cotton gins. Gins with large volumes of cotton must, can, and will take advantage of the latest industry technology. By industry technology, I mean to include all technology that will enhance or otherwise improve the services gins now offer or will offer in the future.

Our cotton industry has experienced some radical changes lately, examples of which are the consolidation and recapitalization of the American Textile Industry, and the diversification of cotton merchants into warehousing, ginning, cottonseed processing, and crop financing. You will note that these progressive merchants have vertically integrated by providing more and more services to the grower.

When the gin can determine seedcotton characteristics and respond to these characteristics by in-line process changes, when textile mill and grower accepted quality standards are affixed to the bale thereby eliminating some of the mystery in merchandizing, when an industry standard computer network is used so mills can determine what qualities are available and where the needed qualities are located, and since the grower has the ability to finance through the CCC loan an inventory of cotton and both the grower and the textile mill can hedge the risk of their inventories through futures options, and if the gin is capable of storing the cotton for the grower and textile mill shipping the quantities and qualities demanded by the mill when ordered, then we will see gins grow as the merchants have, through vertical integration, but in the opposite direction from that of the merchants. Where the merchants have grown backwards by providing more basic services to the grower, gins will grow forward by providing more services to the textile mills.

Reprinted from Proceedings: 1989 Beltwide Cotton Production Conference pp. 98 - 99
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998