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Mid-South farmers and ginners are coping with “unprecedented times” as they try and adjust business models to high commodity prices, higher production/operating costs, and changing demands for crops, says David Blakemore, Campbell, Mo., producer/ginner/warehouseman.
Changes to facilitate trade
In travels to Central America and China last year, Richard Kelley, Burlison, Tenn., farmer ginner and 2010 SCGA president, says it was “an eye-opener to visit with our good customers — particularly so in China, to see how advanced they area technologically.
“They love our cotton, and they want our cotton, but they often can buy cotton closer and cheaper from other countries,” says Kelley, who was another of the panelists.
“We may need to change our shipping and warehousing procedures in order to give them the quick delivery they want so they can make a quick turnaround in their processing operations.”
“If we don’t change and get better, our competitors will slip in and beat us to the punch.
“These are unprecedented times in terms of cotton prices and demand,” Kelley notes, “and because cotton is now worth so much more and risk and liability so much greater, there are additional decisions we ginners must make in terms of insurance for cotton on gin yards.
“We will have to expand our gin storage areas in order to satisfy insurance requirements and we may need to consider transferring some of this insurance responsibility to producers.