On the SCGA presentation…

“I spoke on a couple of key areas.

“What we saw from surveys is that on average gins have about nine owners. But with gin ownership what matters for decision-making – things like investing in new, expensive equipment and retrofitting – is often driven by the owners with the largest shares.

“On average, the survey results show if a gin has more than two owners the owner with the largest share carries about a quarter – actually, 24 percent – of the ownership.

“Even in larger, co-op model gins where there is a large number of owners, typically there are two to four very influential owners. They influence most of the gin management decisions and major investments.”

On what the survey found regarding transportation…

“From the last survey we did for the 2007 season, the average longest distance hauled from cotton field to gin was approximately 36 miles. Some gins may have hauled 75 or 90 miles, others only 15 or 20 miles.  

“In the 2010 season, the average longest distance hauled increased to 43 miles – another 7 miles. The result shows that despite reductions in gin numbers, we’re seeing the gins still operating go out and pull cotton in much farther away from the gin.

“That should provide some level of comfort to producers in areas that don’t have gins nearby any longer. It alleviates some fears – producers can contact a gin from farther away and still have their cotton ginned.

“Related to that, in 2010, we also found that about 16.5 percent of Mid-South gins’ cotton came from operations more than 25 miles from the gin. That’s almost equal to the percent of cotton, 17.5, coming from less than five miles from the gin.”  

Did you look at other cotton-producing regions?

“No, this was just focused on the five states in the Mid-South. That was the geographic area of interest of the grant.

“We have been piggybacking off Tommy Valco’s (Cotton Technology Transfer Coordinator, USDA-ARS) once-every-three-years ginning cost survey. We added some additional questions on the backside of his survey. He’s been collecting general ginning cost information since 2001 through cooperation of the regional ginning associations.

“So, it wouldn’t be difficult to ask for these data from some of the other cotton-growing regions. That would work as long as we got permission from regional ginning associations to do so.”