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Tips for getting the most out of your ginning contract

Tractor picking up cotton baleWith another cotton season completed are you relaxing and focusing on post crop management? Or are you still clocking up hours in the harvester and finalising last minute negotiations on your marketing?

This week we talked to a couple of dryland cotton growers in the Upper Namoi Valley who, as of last week, were still picking. We also managed to track down one of the busiest processors in the Upper Namoi Valley – Carroll Cotton Company owner and Grower Liaison representative, Scott Davies. Scott is now working in a season which will be the busiest and most productive seasons ever seen by the ginning company.

The Carroll Cotton Company was built in 1995, this year and the last are the only two that the gin has run to capacity. Of the 40 plus growers who send their cotton to Carroll Cotton, 15 are dryland only cotton growers and many have never grown cotton before.

“With the cotton resurgence of the last couple of years, growers in the Upper Namoi Valley are starting to take another look at growing cotton and seeing the benefits outweigh the alternatives,” Scott said.

“The volume of dryland cotton in this area has been particularly good with higher than expected yields. A lot of the new dryland cotton growers in our area are very happy with their results, with some properties reporting that their dryland cotton is yielding higher than their irrigated crops.”

Below are some tips Scott has for growers to get the best out of their ginning contracts:

  • Be aware of the ginning process, take a tour and discuss your specifications with your gin.

We try to always let our growers know when their cotton will be processed at the gin. We always invite them to come and watch the process. It’s important that growers understand and can contribute to the ginning stage; their involvement means they can appreciate the importance of the different processes. Because Carroll Cotton is an independent gin without any merchant influences, we have the ability to gin to the grower’s specifications and/or the buyer’s requirements. Our growers are able to market their cotton to whomever offers the highest premium and we can tailor the number of lint cleaners, heat and moisture levels for the grower to get the desired result for their cotton.

  • Market your cotton before it enters the gin yard.

This year we have asked growers to make sure that cotton modules that are brought into the gin are already marketed. In a growing year where ginning facilities are operating at capacity, gins are reluctant to, or won’t accept un-marketed cotton. Growers should make contact with cotton merchants before the start of ginning season to ensure they can move their cotton into the gin as soon as they are able.

  • Place module tickets at the same position on all your modules.

It may seem quite obvious, but when gins receive so many modules, tickets in the same location make loading and checking much easier.