Improved Cotton Ginning ProcessBy
A new computerized system that automatically measures cotton quality during
ginning could improve fiber quality by 50 percent. The
Agricultural Research Service's
Cotton Ginning Research
Unit in Stoneville, Miss., developed the system, which uses sensors to
determine cotton quality and sends the information to a computer.
Once color, foreign matter and moisture content of the cotton are
determined, the computer then routes the cotton through the appropriate cleaning
and drying sequences to yield the highest-quality fiber.
Research at field gins from 1994 to 1997 shows that, by
using the system, a farmer can collect an extra $10 to $20 in profits per bale.
In 1994, one gin in Alabama boosted farmer profits by $16.72 per bale on about
42,000 bales--a total increase of more than $700,000. From 1995 to 1997,
per-bale profits continued to increase to more than $35. The system also helps
save the ginner nearly $1 per bale by reducing energy costs.
The technology is licensed exclusively to Zellweger Uster, an equipment
manufacturer, and will be commercially available in 1998 under the trade name
An in-depth story on this research appears in the February issue of Agricultural
Research magazine. The story is also on the World Wide Web at:
Scientific Contact: W. Stanley Anthony is at the USDA-ARS Cotton
Ginning Research Unit, 111 Experiment Station Road, P.O. Box 256, Stoneville, MS
38776-0256, phone (601) 686-3094, fax (601) 686-5483,