Love it or hate it, the US classing system for cotton is the envy of the rest of the world. Every bale of cotton is graded on a number of different quality parameters and that class stays with the bale through its life. It has been emulated in all cotton growing parts of the world but it has never been duplicated and still is accepted at the most reliable grading system anywhere.
In their most recent newsletter the USDA AMS Cotton and Tobacco program recaps the 2020 crop. They discuss several of the challenges and improvements they see going forward. All to make the classification of cotton efficient and reliable. That newsletter can be found here: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDAAMS/bulletins/2ea5fb0 it is well worth the read.
Darryl Earnest and several senior staff members came to the Southeastern Cotton Ginners Board of Directors meeting held in mid-July to discuss the challenges they faced this year. Most of the discussion with our board revolved around the steps they take to ensure the extraneous matter is called properly. This is after the unprecedented number of seed coat fragment calls on the 2020 crop. They put together a set of samples for the attendees to play with and handle to be able to not only see what different extraneous matter looks like but also what it feels like. For example, grass and bark can look very similar but they don’t feel the same. They hope to be able to bring these to our state unit meetings in September.
To kind of highlight the overcoming adversity that the classing office face please refer to the infographic that the C&T Program put together. I can be found in the newsletter above or downloaded directly at: https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/USDAAMS/2021/07/28/file_attachments/1890691/Infographic%20-CT%20successes%20in%202020%20classing%20season%20-%20for%20July%202021%20newsletter.pdf
More information on the Board Meeting and the State Unit meetings soon.