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Uniform cotton bales

The Joint Cotton Industry Bale Packaging Committee (JCIBPC), conducting its 40th annual meeting in Memphis, has agreed that increased emphasis should be placed on educating ginners about the need for producing uniform bales.

The JCIBPC said that bales with sloping heads do not stack as efficiently and can pose a safety concern — one that is exacerbated by the current large supply of cotton bales in U.S. warehouses.

The JCIBPC also recommended that packaging manufacturers begin supplying to the end users of approved packaging products a certificate of analysis on a voluntary basis for 2007. The aim is to ensure that manufacturers adhere to the industry bale packaging specifications.

JCIBPC Chairman Lee Tiller said certificates of analysis will become a mandatory requirement in 2008.

The committee also updated the current specifications with a definition of extruded seam bags — an action resulting from some bag failures on the 2005 crop.

In other action, the JCIBPC approved two new woven polypropylene bags: an extruded seam bag with modified construction and a spiral seam bag with 8x8 yarns per square inch fabric construction.

Test programs approved for 2007 included: (1) two fully-coated, circular woven bags, (2) a lighter weight spiral sewn polypropylene bag and (3) a woven cotton bag.

Based on changes made in the 2006 specifications for cotton bale packaging materials, a compatibility test program also was granted for plastic strapping — which saw increased usage in 2006. Tiller said this test is to demonstrate that plastic strapping which meets the approval criteria can be used successfully in currently-approved strapping systems.

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