State Meeting Reminder

Just a little reminder that our State Unit meetings begin next week. The Alabama-Florida meeting will follow the Safety Round Table on August 27. The Georgia meeting will be the following day August, 28. The NC/VA and SC meetings will be the second week in September and we’ll send out another update as we get closer. All meetings will cover similar topics. We plan to discuss H-2A and Immigration issues, Accident Review and safety issues, contamination, and Wage and Hour issues.

This year we’re trying to get a better handle on how many people we will be hosting and feeding and we’re asking that you RSVP if you plan on coming to one of these meetings. Even if you’re registered for the Round Table in Alabama we as that you RSVP for the state meeting.

RSVP for the ALABAMA/FLORIDA Meeting Aug 27 .. 12 Noon (lunch to start) to 3:00 PM

RSVP for the GEORGIA state Meeting Aug 28… 10 AM to Noon (lunch to follow)

The Passing of Bud Lindler

Long time member of the cotton community in the Southeast, Bud Lindler passed away on Sunday. Bud worked for the National Cotton Council for 38 years. He also worked for Southern Southeastern for a period of time in the mid 90’s. He was well liked by nearly everyone he met. Even into his retirement he kept a toe in the cotton world working for us as well as with Coker Gin. Bud was 88. Funeral Services will be Wednesday, Aug 7 (See link below)

Bud Lindler

State Meetings Set

The 2019 State Ginner Meetings are finally set. This year’s meetings will feature updates from Association staff and reports from affiliated organizations. Each year we get gins across the Association’s four State Units. The meetings this year will be August 27 and 28 for the Alabama / Florida and the Georgia State Units respectively and the 10th and 11th of September for South Carolina and the North Carolina / Virginia State Units.

This year, we’re asking for RSVPs to help assure we have appropriate food and resources for the meetings. The RSVP Links can be found below. Most of the State Meetings will begin at 10 AM and will conclude with lunch. The only exception will be the Alabama / Florida meeting will begin with lunch and conclude about 3PM. The Alabama meeting will be following the Safety Round Table.

Alabama / Florida State Unit – Aug 27 – RSVP Here

Georgia State Unit Meeting – Aug 28 – RSVP Here

South Carolina State Unit meeting – Sept 10 – RSVP Here

North Carolina / Virginia State Unit meeting – Sept 11 – RSVP Here


Market Facilitation Program Announced

In a highly anticipated move, the USDA announced the 2019 Market Facilitation Program details this morning. The MFP is the program USDA has developed to help offset some of the losses incurred by farmers as a result of the ongoing trade dispute and tariffs between the US and other countries.

This time the program is a bit different than the last. The program is solely based on the number of acres that have been planted without regard to WHAT was planted in 2019. The farmer simply had to plant one of the covered commodities that include both non-specialty and specialty crops. This was done so as to not influence planting decisions. The payment is county based meaning that each county will potentially have a different payment per acre planted.

The payment rate per county was based on a formula that weighed the impact to various crops and the amount of those crops planted in a county relative to the other commodities planted in that county historically. For example a county with a high corn history but few beans acres historically would have a fairly low payment per acre because the tariff impact to corn is understood as fairly low. Conversely, a heavy cotton or soybean county in relation to corn would have a high payment rate. In fact many heavy cotton counties in the Southeast are maxed out. The payment rate is between $15 and $150 per acre planted and certified in 2019.

The sign-up for the program will begin on Monday July 29, 2019 with the first half of the payments coming in mid to late August.

One of the major changes from the previous program was the increase in the payment limit for this program. In the 2018 program it was $125,000 but it has been doubled to $250,000 for this one. There is also a means test. All of these details as well as the payment rates for each county can be found by following this link. It will take you to a USDA page with all the information you need to get started.

Sorry for the late delivery of this message but I have been traveling all day and just got a chance to write it up.


Forklift Train-the-Trainer

Earlier this year, the Alabama/Florida State-Unit asked that we organize a forklift train-the-trainer session or two across the state. There are a number of ways to get lift truck drivers trained but in today’s world and labor market, it’s difficult to get someone trained / certified in a timely manner that’s why we decided to hold a couple of these.

The OSHA regulations state that anyone driving a powered industrial truck be properly trained and demonstrate competence (I’m condensing the rule greatly). While those regulations don’t apply directly to ginning, they do apply to warehouse operations. People driving lift trucks (squeeze or forks or other attachments) need to have proper training and demonstrate to the trainer that they have been trained and are competent. Labor around a gin and warehouse is often tough. Add to that the demand on loading and receiving at the same time as we’ve seen in the past few years, it can make acquiring that training difficult before putting someone to work.

We have, for a long time, advocated having supervisors trained to be lift truck trainers and having them do the training rather than relying on an outside firm to do the training. To that end, we have scheduled two sessions for train-the-trainer classes. Since these are being scheduled at the request of the Alabama/Florida Unit, we have scheduled them in Alabama but they are by no means limited to Alabama members. All members are welcome to attend but space is limited.

Because this is specialized training, there is a fee associated with this and the space is limited to ten per location. The cost is $300 per attendee and still doesn’t totally cover our costs. We are holding the sessions in Courtland, AL at Servico and in Andalusia at Covington Gin.

Attendees at these sessions will have both classroom and practical time during the day and be able to certify lift truck drivers for their organizations going forward. Please FOLLOW THIS LINK to get to the sign up page for the session. Again space is limited and the sessions are right around the corner. Andalusia will be July 26 and Courtland is August 9.

Give us a call or email if you have questions.


FINALLY Disaster Package Passes Congress

On Monday, the House finally passed the long awaited disaster funding. The Senate overwhelmingly passed the bill before the Memorial Day break and we had to wait until Monday while staunch fiscal conservative members from various states held up the matter three times in. The House passed the measure by a 354-58. All Democrats and a vast majority of republicans voted for the bill. The roll call vote can be found here.

The bill included $5.5 Billion for agriculture including the hurricanes in the SE and wildfires out west but also the flooding earlier this year in the mid-west. Details of the program aren’t out yet but the program that most of our producers will be working with is the WHIP program. This is a slightly better version of the WHIP from the 2017 crop with some slight changes to the whip factor.

Other news sources will have more detailed information as the rules are written and the program is implemented. We had been waiting on this so long, we wanted to make sure you knew this was moving forward finally. I’m a bit late getting this out as Andy and I are both in MS teaching at gin school this week.