Letter to State and Regional Gin Associations and Cotton Warehouse Associations Regarding Misshapened Bales

A letter to state and regional gin associations and cotton warehouse associations from the NCC and the National Cotton Ginners Association describes the problems of misshapened bales at warehouses, including increased handling time per bale and loss of storage space.

Published: February 27, 2002
Updated: June 1, 2007

DATE:             April 20, 2007

TO:         State and Regional Gin Associations and Cotton Warehouse Associations

FROM:     National Cotton Council and the National Cotton Ginners Association

SUBJECT: Misshapened Bales

During the Joint Cotton Industry Bale Packaging Committee meeting held this past February, the increasing incidences of misshapened bales were discussed.  This subject was also an issue at the National Cotton Council’s Packaging and Distribution Committee meeting earlier in 2007. 

Both of these committees discussed the common problems that misshapened bales present at warehouses, including increased handling time per bale and the loss of storage space.  In addition, these committees agreed that it is important for ginners to understand the significant safety hazards at warehouses associated with misshapened bales.  Moreover, there are significant increases in storage costs associated with any reduction in the number of bales that can be safely stored.  All of these problems will likely be exacerbated by the anticipated large carryover of 2006 crop cotton. 

The reasons for nonuniform or misshapened bales are numerous, thus, solutions that adequately address misshapened bale problems are often difficult to identify.  For example, maintenance issues, press door alignment, uneven batt distribution at the battery condenser and lint slide issues may all contribute to the problem.  A simple solution can be difficult to discern because the interaction of contributing factors can be complex. 

Where can gins go for help?  They can start by contacting their bale press or gin equipment manufacturer or other qualified bale press technician for assistance.  Warehousemen are encouraged to communicate with gins as soon as misshapened bales are received.  In addition, warehouses should now notify gins who have had misshapen bales in the past.  Early notification gives gins an opportunity to make adjustments that can correct problems before the ginning season starts.  As both gin volume and throughput increase, it is imperative that gins accept the challenge of producing well packaged bales of uniform size, shape and density that enhance the image of U.S. cotton.

Please remind your member gins to take time to perform needed repairs and adjustments during the off season in order to help ensure safety at gins and warehouses during the busy season when time and space are at a premium.  If you have any questions, please call either Harrison Ashley or Dale Thompson t 901-274-9030.