Planting Intentions Survey

The Following is from Harrison Ashley at the National Cotton Ginners. We encourage ALL gins to participate in this survey to drive the accuracy of the NCC planting intentions forward. Thanks for you help in this.

Dusty

Dear Ginner,

To allow the NCC to have the most complete planting intentions information, gins are being asked to participate in a short confidential online survey. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RM9BRWB

Gins are in constant contact with their producers and generally have a good idea as to the next season’s planting prospects.  The survey should include both upland and extra-long staple cotton plantings.  The gin survey will be used to supplement producer survey data and help the National Cotton Council increase survey accuracy. Please complete the survey by Monday, January 17. If you report for more than 1 gin, please use a separate survey for each gin. 

The acreage survey, conducted each year to aid with industry planning and policy deliberations, provides the basis for the economic outlook presented to delegates during the NCC Annual Meeting in February. 

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Regards,

Harrison

OSHA’s Vaccine Mandate Moving Forward

Late Friday afternoon a three judge panel in the Sixth Circuit lifted the stay on the Biden Administration’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). The ETS has a number of ongoing law suits and a Federal appeals court placed a stay on the rule before it even got going. Now the Sixth Circuit has lifted that stay and the rule may proceed.

For review, this vaccine mandate only applies to employers with 100 or more employees company wide. OSHA has said it will use it’s enforcement discretion for this rule. OSHA will begin enforcing the rule on January 10 with a February 9 deadline for the vaccine or test requirements.

More will follow after we have a chance to digest this ruling. This is likely not the end of this and we will continue to see how this unfolds. If you have or have had more than 100 employees since November 5 (original date of rule) you will need to move forward with your compliance activities.

More to come

DSF

H-2A Wages Increasing

This past week, the Department of Labor has published the new Adverse Effect Wage Rate for 2022. The new wages actually start on December 29 and until new AEWR’s are published next year. This means that if you are using H-2A labor, Starting December 29, 2021 you will need to pay them and US workers in corresponding employment the NEW AEWR. These rates are set by state or groups of states.

State2021 AEWR2022 AEWR (Dec 29, 2021)
Alabama$11.81$11.99
Florida$12.08$12.41
Georgia$11.81$11.99
North Carolina$13.15$14.16
South Carolina$11.81$11.99
Virginia$13.15$14.16

We’re also monitoring potential changes that the DoL has recently published as a proposed rule. The proposed rule has the potential to significantly affect the H-2A wages in many industries. We’re not clear on exactly how the proposed changes will affect gins that use the H-2A program. We will update as things firm up.

Passing of Leo Phillips

It is with a heavy heard that I must post yet another notification of the passing of one of our members. Leo Phillips co-owner of the Cochran Gin and Oil Mill passed away on Sunday. His funeral will be later today. Leo didn’t come to many meetings but he frequently called with questions on things we published or issues they had dealings with. We had many discussions on the development of the Association and the ‘old times’. He was a character and I will miss our calls.

The full obituary is here: https://www.fishersfuneralhome.net/obituaries/Leo-Phillips-3/#!/Obituary

Please keep his whole family and his brother John in your prayers.

DSF

Safety Alerts from Texas

In the past week or two Texas has had some serious accidents. From what we understand they all could have been prevented by properly locking out the power. We’re in the middle of gin season for most of our area. This is when we tend to let our guard down. Please don’t let that happen in your gins. Take some time to review the SAFETY ALERT below and share with your employees. The ALERT is in English and Spanish. While we haven’t seen any of this sort of injury this year in the Southeast and we pray we don’t, we all need to pay attention to the little things. Lets all have a safe gin season. Click on the images to download the PDF.

DSF

USDA Letter Regarding Classing Times

letter to stakeholders on USDA AMS Classing Times
Please Click on this image to download the full letter.

Over the past few weeks several gins have contacted us regarding the increasing time it is taking to get classing from the classing office. Many more of you have contacted the classing office directly. We and they are listening.

We have been in regular communication with Memphis just as many of you have been with your local office. Darryl Earnest sent out this letter to all stakeholders to give everyone an update. Please click on the image and download the letter. They are dealing with all of the same issues we are all dealing with this year… that is lack of seasonal labor and parts supply chain problems. Darryl asked that we share this with all of you as well. Give us a call if you have any questions.

DSF