Cotton Ginnings

Cotton Ginnings Survey

The Cotton Ginnings survey obtains data mandated by Title 13, Section 42 U.S.C. to provide all segments of the cotton industry (producers, buyers, brokers, shippers, textile firms, and researchers) with quantities of baled cotton that are available by specific geographic areas within the U.S. on a regular and reoccurring basis.

This survey program collects data used to measure monthly cottonseed prices, production, and disposition. Additionally, NASS uses these data as an aid in forecasting cotton production and preparing final state and county production estimates.

All active gins for a given crop season are included in the survey. This includes gins in all 17 cotton producing states. The 17 states do not include Kentucky or Maryland, who produce a very minimal amount of cotton and are not generally considered as cotton producing states.

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Program Content

Gins provide the number of bales ginned to date and an estimate of how many more they expect to gin during the season. Gins also report the average price paid to producers for cottonseed.

On the end-of-season questionnaire, the gins report total pounds of lint cotton produced from the bales ginned, the average weight per bale, and how many saw and roller ginning plants they operated during the season. A random sample of the gins is asked to report total pounds of cottonseed derived from the bales ginned, how many pounds of cottonseed were or will be delivered to oil mills, or how many were used for feed, seed, or other uses.


Cotton ginnings reports provide reliable information for farmers, cotton buyers, bankers, credit associations, agricultural economists, farm organizations, and federal, state, and local policy makers. Ideally, when all participants in an industry are equally informed, no one is at a disadvantage due to uncertainty.

Cotton ginning reports provide a measure of the size of production or inventories so that prices can move in line with supply. Without good information, risks of doing business increase and costs rise.

Should a disaster occur in a specific cotton producing area, policy makers will have data available for that area to assist with disaster program implementation. Cotton markets can continue to operate on a stable basis since the uncertainty of supply by geographic areas is minimized. Private industry also use these data in their analyses and forecasts.

It is crucial that supply/demand information be distributed widely to all levels of the farming, ginning, warehousing, merchant, cooperative, and manufacturing sectors. This assures a competitive market structure far superior to one where either no one or only a few are informed.


The survey is conducted 13 times throughout each season. This includes August 1 (TX only) and September 1 (TX only), semi-monthly from September 15 through February 1, and an end-of-season questionnaire administered as each firm finishes ginning for the season.


The cotton ginnings program is a census of about 900 active gins. Prior to the beginning of each ginning season, NASS supplements its list of gins from the previous season with a list supplied from each of the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) classing offices.

The survey reference dates for the 13 ginning surveys are August 1 (TX only), September 1 (TX only), September 15, October 1, October 15, November 1, November 15, December 1, December 15, January 1, January 15, February 1, and the end-of-season (March 1).

The vast majority of data are collected via telephone, mail, and fax. Response rates to this voluntary survey are approximately 96 percent (prior to 1991, the Bureau of the Census had the authority to conduct this program under mandatory reporting laws).

Information for the quarterly hog surveys is collected by electronic data reporting, mail, telephone interview, and face-to-face personal interviews.

Related Programs

Cotton Objective Yield
Agricultural Yield

Last Modified: 04/17/2024