Applications are being taken for the 2009 Southwest Ginners School — set for March 30-April 1 in Lubbock, Texas.

Registration can be completed online at the National Cotton Ginners Association’s (NCGA) Web site, www.ncga.cotton.org.

“The goal of these schools is to train our gin employees on the proper operation of ginning equipment with a focus on maximizing fiber quality, ginning efficiencies and safety in the gin,” said Harrison Ashley, executive director of the Memphis-based NCGA, one of the schools’ cooperators. He said applications also are being taken for the 2009 Western Ginners School, Las Cruces, N.M. – May 12-14; and the 2009 Stoneville Ginners School, Stoneville, Miss. – June 9-11.

Each level of Ginner Schools’ coursework is built on the previous level of instruction, with Level I as the foundation. Thus, beginning students, regardless of gin experience, start with Level I.

Level I courses are: Introduction to Cotton Ginning and the Industry; Maintenance of Auxiliary Gin Components; Basic Hydraulics; Basic Gin Safety; Maintenance and Adjustments for Seed Cotton Cleaners, Gin Stands, and Lint Cleaners; Air Utilization and Drying; and Electricity in the Gin.

The Level II offerings include: Purpose and Operating Principles of Individual Gin Machines; Efficient Operation, Adjustment, and Maintenance of Gin Equipment; Pneumatics and Waste Collection; Electrical Systems; Hydraulic Systems; Gin Safety; Management Tips; and Roller Ginning (at the Western School only).

Level III features: Review of Functions of a Ginning System; Electrical Systems; Air Systems in the Gin; Drying and Moisture Restoration Systems; Matching Machinery Capacities in the System; Seed Cotton Unloading Systems and Management of Seed Cotton Handling Systems; Bale Presses and Hydraulic Systems; Safety Programs and Labor Regulations; Cottonseed Handling Systems; and Roller Ginning (at the Western School only).

In addition to Levels I, II and III, all schools will feature a two-day continuing education (CE) course.

Day one of CE coursework will include a session on the need and methods to properly match gin equipment capacities to optimize efficiencies and equipment performance. This will include the analysis of all components of the gin, from module feeder to bale press, and examine how capacity and performance can be improved. In this session, automated gin processes will be discussed to examine how these technologies could be used in a gin plant. In addition, examples of systems upgrades will be discussed by ginners and practical examples will be provided.

The second day’s CE coursework will focus on fiber quality, from harvesting to ginning, with an emphasis on ginning and maximizing quality. In this session, speakers will document fiber quality trends and identify methods gins can use to affect fiber quality traits. At the Lubbock School, this will included a tour of the Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute at Texas Tech University and a presentation from Cotton Incorporated on meeting market demands.

These CE sessions are designed for gin managers and owners, and one or both of the sessions can be chosen depending on needs. Speakers will be available to discuss specific situations and gin setups.

Along with the NCGA, other school cooperators include NCGA member associations, the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, the National Cotton Council, Cotton Incorporated, gin machinery/equipment manufacturers/suppliers, Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, and select land grant universities.

Ginner school questions may be directed to Betty Thorne or Ashley at 901-274-9030.