Growers and Ginners Go to Washington

This week nearly 30 producers and Ginners from the Southeast went to to Washington DC to meet with most of the Congressional representation from our region. The group flew to Washington on Monday, Feb 27 and had nearly 60 meetings over the next day and a half on the Hill.

This is an annual trip held by the Southern Cotton Growers Government Relations Committee. For the past several years, the group has invited the Southeastern Cotton Ginners Executive Committee to join in the trip. This year many of the producers were also Ginners or tightly connected to the ginning community.

This is the first time we’ve had a chance to go on such a trip in three years. The last trip was just before Covid shut everything down in March of 2020.

Jimmy Web and other growers and ginners discuss farm bill with Sanford Bishop (D-GA)

With this being a Farm Bill year, it was the main topic of conversation. While nearly every special interest in the country has a lobbyist in DC, having actual constituents affected by the laws they write has a much bigger impact than can be explained here. Being able to hear about the actual effect of the cost of diesel or fertilizer prices from people back home leaves a serious impression. Another topic front of mind for many on the trip was the H-2A Program and the recent 14% increase in the AEWR. On Monday, the Department of Labor released some changes in the AEWR that will make it the program even more cumbersome and potentially more expensive than it already is. More details are forthcoming.

Growers and Ginners meet with House Ag Committee Chairman “GT” Thompson and staff.

One of the biggest highlights was a to be able to visit with House Ag Committee Chair Glenn “GT” Thompson and Ag Committee staff. We appreciate the Chairman’s time and his staff for meeting with us.

If it were not for the support of producers and ginners in the Southeast Cotton Committee (SECC) political action committee we would not be able to get the appointments we were able to have. If you would like more information on how to participate in SECC, please contact Susan Garrick in our office.

We would like to thank those that went on the trip and the members who were able to meet with us and especially the National Cotton Council Staff on helping to facilitating the trip.

Cotton GIn Cost Survey – PLEASE

For many years, the USDA has collected and reported the cost of ginning in the form of a Beltwide paper. The data was only collected every three years and was a paper survey. Participation in the survey has, historically been quite low. WE NEED YOUR HELP.

A few years ago, National Cotton Ginners, and USDA developed an electronic version of the GIn Cost Survey. This survey collects all the same information they have in the past but you can fill it out each year to get a much better idea and higher resolution for the cost of ginning. We get requests every year for information on what it costs to run a gin. We rely on the aggregated data to help those folks. Who uses the summaries? A lot of people. Most relevant are when we’re discussing things on farm bill or H-2A etc.

There are additional benefits to YOU by using the electronic survey. The electronic USDA/NCGA version of the cost survey will allow you to track your gin’s variable cost and compare your individual gin to other gins in the region.  Additionally, there are a number of charts and graphs, using historical data, that can be generated.  The electronic survey will allow for the annual input of a gin’s data and will allow you to include past years’ data if desired.  The data is strictly confidential, and the data will be shown only in aggregate.  Ginning cost and the ability for the industry to track these costs are extremely important.  This data is used for cost comparisons in the Southeast and is used nationally in both farm bill discussions and discussions with USDA.  Ginning cost data also will be an important discussion point in programs, such as the US Cotton Trust Protocol and, in particular, energy use.

Please use this electronic survey to report various costs.  Home – Gin Survey (

Let us know if you have any questions.

NCC Planting Intentions Lower

The National Cotton Council released their expected plantings for 2023. The survey results reduced the Southeastern acres by less than 10 percent. The US is down about 17 percent. The Council’s expectations bring the SE to 2.41 Million Acres down from 2.662 million that were planted in 2022. More details can be found on the NCC Website but thought you’d like to see the SE regions Sooner than later.

State2022 Planted2023 IntendedPct Change
SE Total26622410-9.5
Total acres1121611419-17

OSHA 300 and 300A Record Keeping and Reporting – Webinar

Below you will find a recent reminder from OSHA regarding the OSHA 300A reporting to the “Injury Tracking Application” or ITA. Gins with 20 or more employees (at any point) during the previous calendar year are required to submit their OSHA 300A summary information to OSHA each year.

OSHA uses this information for a number of things including national emphasis programs, regional emphasis programs and targeted inspections. They also use the information to build a baseline of the industry as a whole.

It is common for OSHA inspectors to review OSHA 300’s at the start of any inspection and now they look to see if a facility has submitted their data online prior to going to a site.

While the form itself doesn’t seem all that complicated there are a lot of nuances as to how to fill out the data that can make significant differences some calculations. It’s important that it is filled out properly even if you don’t have to file on the ITA because it gives inspectors a glimpse on your operation if they ever come to your facility.

We have asked Tracey Crawford with Safe Workforce Development to do a webinar on the OSHA 300 forms (300, 300A and 301) to help everyone stay on the same page stay in compliance. Fines for not having the forms and/or not reporting are getting steep.

Please Consider attending our FREE OSHA Record Keeping Webinar Next Week.. January 24 at 2 PM Eastern Time (1PM Central).

OSHA Injury Recordkeeping

  • Completing OSHA injury and illness Recordkeeping Forms – Brief review of how to fill these out, when to complete them, how to count hours, what to post
  • When is considered an OSHA recordable injury?  – Brief overview of what is considered a recordable injury under OSHA definitions
  • Reporting severe injuries to OSHA – what injuries, how quickly to report, what to expect afterwards
  • Scenarios of injuries and incidents – Examples of when to and when not to record an injury
  • OSHA’s online reporting system – Who needs to report, how to access the system, and what information you will need

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

We’ll see you on January 24th

OSHA is reminding employers to submit their 2022 OSHA Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) data by March 2, 2023.

Who is required to submit Form 300A data?

  • Establishments with 250 or more employees that are required to keep OSHA injury and illness records.
  • Establishments with 20 to 249 employees in designated industries.
  • Establishments under Federal OSHA jurisdiction can use the ITA Coverage Application to determine if they are required to electronically report their injury and illness information to OSHA. Establishments under State Plan jurisdiction should contact their State Plan

How to submit Form 300A data:

As part of the Department of Labor’s IT modernization and security enhancement efforts, the Injury Tracking Application transitioned its login procedure to — a secure sign-in service used by many government agencies. Current and new account holders need to create a Login.govaccount to submit their 2022 injury and illness data. Detailed guidance on how to carry out this change is available as a job aid and video.

If you have questions, visit the FAQs webpage. If the FAQs don’t address your questions, complete the Help Request Form located on the page. Thank you for your cooperation. 

Office of Statistical Analysis 
Occupational Safety and Health Administration 
U.S. Department of Labor

OSHA Fines Increasing

Please see the press release below from OSHA regarding their maximum penalties.

US Department of Labor announces annual adjustments to OSHA civil penalties for 2023 
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor announced changes to Occupational Safety and Health Administration civil penalty amounts based on cost-of-living adjustments for 2023.In 2015, Congress passed the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act to advance the effectiveness of civil monetary penalties and to maintain their deterrent effect. Under the Act, agencies are required to publish “catch-up” rules that adjust the level of civil monetary penalties and make subsequent annual adjustments for inflation no later than January 15 of each year. This year, January 15 falls on a Sunday and January 16 is a federal holiday. Therefore, new OSHA penalty amounts will become effective Jan. 17, 2023.OSHA’s maximum penalties for serious and other-than-serious violations will increase from $14,502 per violation to $15,625 per violation. The maximum penalty for willful or repeated violations will increase from $145,027 per violation to $156,259 per violation.Visit the OSHA Penalties page and read the final rule for more information.

Southern Southeastern Annual Meeting in Just a Few Weeks

The Southern Southeastern Annual Meeting is just a few weeks away. We’re really excited about this year’s meeting at the Marriott Myrtle Beach – Grand Dunes. Everything is looking good (fingers crossed) for having a great in-person event this year.

Room Block is closing THIS SATURDAY DECEMBER 24. Please make your hotel arrangements and registration SOON!!!.

Go to for meeting registration and Hotel Information.



Wednesday, January 18, 2023 (afternoon)

Farm Policy Committee

  • 2023 Farm Bill – Robbie Minnich and Tas Smith – National Cotton Council
  • Process for Gathering Production Data – Anthony Prillaman, USDA – NASS
  • Margin Protection Coverage – Jay Yates and Kyle Core – Watts and Associates

thursday, january 19, 2023

State Grower Meetings

Ginners Safety and Insurance Committee Meeting

Updates on OSHA activities around the cotton belt and accidents in the Southeast.

Ginners Board of Directors Meeting

  • Issues Update – Dusty Findley
  • Working with Farm Labor Contractors – Josh Viau, Fisher and Phillips

Growers Board of Directors Meeting

  • ACP Update – Tas Smith, NCC
  • Crop Science Update – Jennifer Crumpler, Bayer Crop Science

Friday, January 20, 2023

State Ginners Meetings

General Session

  • Cotton Situation and Outlook – Dr. Jon Devine, Cotton Inc.
  • US Trust Protocol – Panel Discussion
    Tillman White – NCC
    Scott Wagner – Levi Strauss
    Kurt Smithwick – Target
  • National Cotton Ginners Update
  • Southeastern Cotton Ginner of the Year


Producer Breakout

  • Southern Cotton Growers Planting Seed Task Force – Panel Discussion with State Departments of Ag and Land Grant University Specialists

Ginner Breakout

  • Cotton Seed Outlook – James Patterson, APEX
  • Gin Lab Update – Joe Thomas, USDA – ARS
  • Handling Seed House Fires (a ginner perspective) – Rich Lindsey, Cherokee Gin
  • Bale Cotton Logistics – Neil Woods, Olam

Southeast Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation Meeting

Presidential Reception
Hors d’oeuvres
Northtower Band
Revere Raffle ($10,000 top prize)

Saturday, January 21, 2023

General Session and Annual Meetings

  • Cotton Inc Update – Berrye Worsham, Cotton Inc.
  • NCC Update – Robbie Minnich, NCC
  • Ag Law Update – Harrison Pittman – National Agriculture Law Center

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