2005 Annual Report
1.What major problem or issue is being resolved and how are you resolving it (summarize project aims and objectives)? How serious is the problem? What does it matter?
A serious impediment to expansion of global markets for U.S. cotton is the concern over its quality as a raw material for textile manufacture. It has long been recognized that potential international customers for U.S. cotton are concerned about certain defects that could be associated with machine picking, namely the presence of short fibers, neps, and immature fibers. Most cotton traded on international markets is hand picked, which tends to alleviate some of the concerns described above. If these measurements (short fibers, neps, and maturity) could be included in the current marketing system, U.S. cotton would be in a much better position to dispel global concerns about the quality of its cotton. In order for any or all of the three quality measurements to be accepted, there must be a large body of technical data gathered to show that including any or all of these measurements would significantly improve the ability to predict the processing efficiency of cotton and the value of its end product. In addition, the need for enhanced international competitiveness for machine-picked U.S. cotton fiber with low-cost, hand-picked cottons from around the world has led to increased emphasis on the U.S. cotton breeding program, especially in the area of public breeders. To accelerate this program, it is essential that a rapid, portable, breeder’s tool be developed to aid in selecting promising cultivars by the breeder in the field. Linking research to develop such a tool with the quality measurements/fiber processing study described above greatly improves the potential for development of such a tool.
The objectives of this project are:.
1)to demonstrate the value of adding new fiber quality measurements to better predict cotton processing efficiency and product quality and.
2)to develop new quality assessment tools for cotton breeders to aid in making selections based on evaluating small cotton samples in remote locations. The project addresses National Program 306 Action Plan–Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products. Clearly, research designed to increase the competitiveness of U.S. cottons in global markets by increasing their processing quality directly relates to the first component of National Program 306 - "Quality, Characterization, Preservation, and Enhancement."
Given that we successfully achieve our goals, the following should result:
1) Improved prediction of cotton processing efficiency and product quality through additional fiber quality measurements.
2) A more complete understanding of the role of cotton quality factors in determining the end product quality of the processed textile.
3) A highly useful tool for cotton breeders and producers for rapidly assessing the quality of small samples in remote locations.
4) A comprehensive database with a unification of results of field to fabric research from laboratories across the country.
2.List the milestones (indicators of progress) from your Project Plan.
Year 1 (FY 2005)
Establish a small-scale database including National Cotton Varietal Trial (NCVT) and select processing and test data.
Complete developing algorithms for obtaining various statistical parameters characterizing short fibers in cotton. Identify factors affecting the accuracy and precision of short fiber content measurement.
Complete development of automated system for measuring white specks that is unbiased for different operators.
Complete analyses of maturity by independent methods (Image Analysis (IA), Fineness/Maturity Tester (FMT), Near Infrared (NIR), High Volume Instrument (HVI), and Advanced Fiber Instrument System (AFIS) on 2001 and 2002 crops. Complete analyses on comparative maturity analysis, 2 crop years. Complete analyses on modeling maturity and micronaire relationships. Part II.
Perform preliminary comparative study of sample processing techniques using existing data. Incorporate and analyze processing data for fifty cottons, adding new fiber test data and include in new database.
Complete program plans for micro-scale processing. Produce and compare products of the Southern Regional Research Center (SRRC) limited-scale processing on micro and miniature scales. Implement procedures to enhance Micro-Spinning Laboratoary) (MSL) lab efficiency.
Develop an understanding of quantitative relationships between processing quality, cotton fiber breakage, and changes in statistical properties of the fiber length distribution. Demonstrate that information about short and broken fiber can be extracted from rapid measurements and that this information is correlated with direct observations of short fiber from lab reference methods.
Establishment and implementation of standard protocols to allow processing efficiency and product quality to be assessed.
Evaluation of twin-row planting in Winnsboro and St. Joseph, LA.
Perform analysis of fiber, yarn and fabric properties for year 2 of the planting date study.
Initial fiber evaluation tool development; fiber analysis year 3 for the first set, year 2 for the second set, and year 1 for the third set of Louisiana State University (LSU) cottons.
Calibrate 3rd generation NIR HVI for micronaire in SRRC controlled environment laboratory
Year 2 (FY 2006)
Expand database to include all standard processing protocol data.
Establish a set of benchmark samples for short fiber content (SFC). Provide these samples to collaborators and complete tests on them involving at least four laboratories.
Complete validation of the Ahemdabad Textile Industries Research Association (ATIRA) method for measuring seed coat fragments in lint and relate to AFIS and Lintronics testers.
Complete analyses of maturity by all methods on 2003 crop. Complete analyses on comparative maturity analysis, 3 crop years. Complete analyses on modeling maturity and micronaire relationships.
Confirm and seek improvement in relations between sample processing techniques. Identify influence of fiber properties on performance and product quality.
Produce and analyze textiles made from selected American Textile Manufacturers' Institute (ATMI) 2001 and 2002 cottons using varied process and machine parameters. Run additional cottons with a minimum of variables.
Assessment of procedure and expansion and/or revision of protocol. Preliminary conclusions from Artificial Neural Network (ANN) and regression analyses. Complete preliminary mathematical simulation studies of the procedures.
Field evaluation of twin-row planting.
Develop evaluation tool with first set of data.
Perform fiber analysis of cottons from the second and third sets of cottons.
Demonstrate accurate measures of fiber finness property known as the "micronaire."
Complete first year experiments at remote sites.
Year 3 (FY 2007)
Expand database to include all cotton program and select collaborator data.
Complete the comparison study of the various instruments for short fiber content (SFC) measurement in terms of accuracy and precision; collect a large amount of data of SFC of cottons with various fiber properties that will be integrated into a database.
Complete study relating fibrous card web neps to neps as measured by AFIS and Lintronics.
Complete analyses of maturity by all methods on 2004 crop. Complete analyses on comparative maturity analysis, 4 crop years.
Assess alternative or refined methods of sample processing to determine processability with cottons. Study differences between sampling methods and revise protocols as needed, and identify relationships between product, performance and fiber properties.
Evaluate and compare limited scale textile products. Identify and define MSL processing protocols. Process 2003 ATMI cottons per established production, test, and data entry methods.
Begin establishing procedures for preparing (processing and blending) and certifying candidate cottons as physical standards suitable for use as reference materials for instrumental measures of SFC and/or broken fiber content (BFC). The milestone is to produce prototypes of such standards and deliver them to Cotton Incorporated for initial evaluation and use. Develop a working definition of a measurable processing quality index (PQI) for cotton.
Assessment of procedure and expansion and/or revision of protocol. Revised artificial neural network (ANN) and analysis of statistical relationships between processing variables and fiber properties.
Second year of on farm evaluation of twin-row planting.
Incorporate next set of cottons into the evaluation tool and release to breeders.
Design, construct, calibrate and evaluate low cost miniature NIR HVI (4th generation).
Complete second year experiments at remote sites.
Report to breeders and growers.
Year 4 (FY 2008)
Expand database to include all cotton program and collaborator data.
Establish a relationship among statistical parameters of cotton short fibers and yarn quality.
Analyze preliminary findings and recommendations for implementing a measurement for neps compatible with HVI.
Complete analyses of maturity by all methods on 2005 crop. Complete analyses on comparative maturity analysis, 5 crop years.
Apply proposed sample methods to evaluation of a broad range of cottons. Pool data and analyze by regression on fiber properties. Run larger scale trials to identify sources of deviation.
Process 2004 ATMI and other cottons per usual protocols. Move MSL machines to Mill during renovations. Install and/or service new and existing equipment.
Develop transferrable analytical technology for calculation of processing quality. Apply the analysis to breakage during processing in the textile mill. Develop the mathematical description of the original (unbroken) fiber length distribution of cottonseed, for different varieties, based on the statistics of breakage. Apply the standardized calculations to different types of measurement systems and cottons.
Formulate ideals for inputs, outputs, and hidden layers (ANN). Refine mathematical and experimentally determined models.
Incorporate next set of cottons into the evaluation tool and make yearly updates available.
Survey new cultivars for interactions between management practices and fiber properties.
Complete third year experiments at remote sites.
Report to breeders and producers.
Year 5 (FY 2009)
Refine and expand database as needed.
Complete data analysis. Make recommendations to Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and National Cotton Council (NCC) on the measurement of SFC, the feasibility of incorporating SFC in the classing system and its utility value.
Complete comprehensive study considering the interrelationships between motes, seed coat fragments, fibrous neps, and white specks.
Complete analyses of maturity by all methods on 2006 crop. Complete data on 6 crop year study.
Apply sampling procedure to new set of cottons. Compare actual and predicted performances using alternative large scale protocols if necessary. Supplement and improve relationships between fiber, performance and product quality.
Complete micro-scale processing and evaluation of the 2005 and 2006 ATMI cottons. Examine and report on the reproducibility and correlation of textile results.
Embody the understanding of fiber breakage analysis in functional computer codes and embed them in hardware interfaced to practical measurement devices, such as HVI or AFIS. Transfer this technology from our research and development (R&D) testing labs to measurement instrument manufacturers for operational evaluation. The expected outcome is that this embodiment of the research products will serve as a model for subsequent transfer of the technology to routine marketing and industrial use.
Assessment of procedure and expansion and/or revision of protocol. Revise ANN and regression analyses. Formulate ideals for inputs, outputs, and hidden layers (ANN). Refine mathematical and empirical models. Comparison of predicted versus actual results based on analyses.
Initiate new experiments from survey done in the previous year.
Complete data analysis of the multi-year study.
Submit final evaluation and recommendation of NIR HVI optimal breeder's and grower's tool.
4a.What was the single most significant accomplishment this past year?
Development of NIST - Traceable HVI Color Measurements
Development of NISA - Traceable HVI Color Measurements
Preliminary results indicate that high volume instrument (HVI) color measurements can be related to measurements made on a laboratory spectrophotometer calibrated to National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) color standards. Standard color tiles and calibration cottons representing a wide range of reflectance (Rd) and yellowness (+b) values were measured on the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Cotton Program's master colorimeter. They were then measured on a GretagMacbeth laboratory spectrophotometer. Allowing for differences in slope and offset, very good correlations were found between the standard CIE color parameters (L*, b*) and the master colorimeter's (Rd,+b), respectively.
4b.List other significant accomplishments, if any.
Database Including All Pertinent Fiber, Yarn and Fabric Test Data Established.
We utilized My Structured Query Languate (MySQL) software to establish a database in which all pertinent fiber, yarn and fabric test data has been included. A manuscript based on analysis of the NCVT data entered into our data base was prepared. It is entitled: "Fiber to Yarn Relationships: A Clustering Approach," by Delhom, Campbell, and Thibodeaux and has been submitted to the Textile Research Journal for publication.
Factors Affecting Accuracy and Precision of Short Fiber Measurement Identified.
Computer programs have been developed to obtain various statistical parameters characterizing cotton short fibers from fiber length distribution by number or by weight, and the relationships among these parameters have been analyzed. Factors affecting the accuracy and precision of short fiber content measurement have been identified. They include the high natural variation in cotton length distribution, sampling, sample preparation, and the presence of neps.
The feasibility of a High-Speed Near Infrared (NIR) measuring Fineness, Maturity, and Micronaire Successfully Demonstrated.
A high-speed NIR system is needed to analyze large numbers of cottons on this project -- cleaned, raw and seed -- for fineness, maturity and micronaire. A large set of reference samples, analyzed for the properties of interest by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) improved FMT, is required to calibrate the fast tool. Since this reference method requires cleaned cottons, it made sense to first calibrate the high-speed tool with cleaned fibers. Validation of the fast device with an independent set of cleaned cottons demonstrated sound prediction results. The cleaned cotton calibration equations were then applied to rapid measurements on raw and seed cottons. The data demonstrates good prediction of the properties on raw cottons and the potential for successful analyses in seed cottons. Outcome anticipated is accurate calibration of the high-speed system on processed to the harvested cotton.
Effects of Fiber Breakage on the Distributions of Cotton Fibers Modeled.
A numerical model of cotton fiber breakage was utilized to demonstrate the effects of breakage on the cotton length distribution. Cotton fiber length distributions were shown to be two-component mixtures, consisting of a "broken" fragment component and an "unbroken" fiber component. A relative fiber damage index can be defined as the percent by mass of the broken fibers, or Broken Fiber Content (BFC). Typically, the value of SFC of bale cotton is roughly one-seventh to one-third of the BFC, but the ratio is highly variable. It was discovered that for the purposes of quality assessment, no matter how accurately and precisely SFC is measured, the accumulated damage and, therefore, processing quality will not be well characterized unless the value of BFC is determined.
Improved Function of the Micro Spinning Laboratory (MSL) Equipment.
Refinement of MSL machine settings and processing parameters have vastly reduced the nep problem, and generally improved fiber and yarn properties. The processing of selected ATMI cottons in a combination of Mill (mini) and MSL (micro) settings have provided baseline assessments. The processing of a set of cottons in MSL and Mill settings exclusively remains underway for the comparison of baseline textile products prior to anticipated MSL machine improvements and upgrades. The aim is to develop micro processing procedures that exhibit better uniformity and are predictive of larger-scale processing of the same fibers.
Planting Date Study Suggests How to Reduce Micronaire.
The planting date study revealed that differences related to biological makeup of the plant in fiber and yarn properties within a planting date were perpetuated across planting dates. If yields can be maintained, early planting reduces micronaire levels below penalty levels.
4c.List any significant activities that support special target populations.
One of our scientist was awarded a fellowship by the USDA ARS Scientific Enhancement Program to study, collaboratively with the China Fiber Inspection Bureau (CFIB), the Chinese cotton classification system and its reform. Through experiments and statistical analysis, the cotton characteristic parameters used in the U.S. and China were compared, and the utility value of these parameters in textile products are being evaluate. A long-term cooperative relationship between USDA and CFIB is strengthen by this activity.
5.Describe the major accomplishments over the life of the project, including their predicted or actual impact.
After considerable experimentation, a standard processing and testing protocol has been established. It was found that between 10 and 15 lbs of cotton can be taken through all stages of textile processing including: opening, cleaning, carding, two-stages of drawing, roving, ring and open-end spinning, and weaving as fill into a common warp. Bale samples are tested with HVI and AFIS. Samples of the process stream including fiber, sliver, and roving are tested on AFIS to determine fiber damage versus cleanability. Yarns are tested for evenness and strength. After approximately eighteen months of operation, testing including following number of observations: 19,500 on AFIS; 6,000 on HVI; 10,000 skein breaks; on yarn strength, SA700etc. We have processed over 100 diverse cottons from the bale through weaving. All pertinent data is being input to the database.
Research was carried out to develop definitive tests of raw cotton to predict its potential for forming undyeable white specks in cotton fabrics. Working in conjunction with the Australian Cotton Board, the International Textile Center in Lubbock, TX, the University of Texas of Austin, and scientists at the Southern Regional Research Center (SRRC) studied the propensity for forming white specks in cottons grown and harvested across the Australian cotton belt, all ginned at a single location, and processed into dyed fabrics. New software for counting and sizing the white specks was evaluated and proved highly successful for rapidly and accurately measuring the problem in both ring and open end fabrics. These results show the potential for the textile industry to utilize off the shelf hardware and software for identifying problem cottons prior to introducing them into their raw material mix.
In cooperation with Cotton Quality Research Station(CQRS) in a American Textile Manufactures Institute (ATMI) leading cotton variety study and Cotton Incorporated in a research project, various cotton length parameters were studied in terms of their applications to predict spinning performance and yarn quality. A new length parameter, Lower Half Mean Length (LHML) was found to estimate cotton short fibers very well and predicted spinning performance and yarn quality equally well, but has low measured variation.
Clearly all of the above accomplishments relate to the first component of National Program 306 - 'Quality, Characterization, Preservation, and Enhancement of Cotton.'
6.What science and/or technologies have been transferred and to whom? When is the science and/or technology likely to become available to the end-user (industry, farmer, other scientists)? What are the constraints, if known, to the adoption and durability of the technology products?
The research results have been made publicly available through publications and presentations at the Beltwide Cotton Conference, the Committee of Cotton Quality Measurement, the National Cotton Council Cotton Quality Task Force Meeting, the 17th Engineered Fiber Selection (EFS) Conference, and the ITMF (International Textile Manufacturers Federation) International Committee on Cotton Testing Methods.
7.List your most important publications in the popular press and presentations to organizations and articles written about your work. (NOTE: List your peer reviewed publications below).
P. Bel presented two reports on her white speck defect research at the 2005 Beltwide Cotton Conferences in New Orleans, LA in Jan.2005. These were entitled: "Neps in U.S. cottons" and "Cotton quality: White speck neps from fiber to fabric."
J. Campbell presented the report: "FQEL: Laboratory data validation" at the 2005 Beltwide Cotton Conferences, New Orleans, LA, Jan. 2005.
L. Cui presented the report: "Establishing benchmark values for SFC research" at the 2005 Beltwide Cotton Conferences, New Orleans, LA, Jan. 2005.
G. Davidonis presented a report on "Yield distribution and fiber properties of single and twin row cotton" at the 2004 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Agronomy/Crop Science Society of America/ Soil Science Society of America, Nov. 2004.
G. Davidonis presented two papers at the 2005 Beltwide Cotton Conferences in New Orleans, LA, Jan. 2005. These included: "Variability of cotton fiber and yarn properties across planting dates" and "Effect of seed weight changes on fibers per seed and fiber property uniformity."
G. Davidonis presented two posters on "Genotype variability of cotton fiber and yarn properties across planting dates" and "Yield and fiber properties of single and twin row cotton" at the Louisiana Cotton Forum, Monroe, LA., Jan. 2005.
C. Delhom presented a report on "Determination of fiber and product quality through small-scale processing trials: fiber to yarn" at the 2005 Beltwide Cotton Conferences, New Orleans, LA, Jan. 2005.
J. Montalvo presented a paper on "Micronaire, maturity and fineness research" at the 2005 Beltwide Cotton Conferences, New Orleans, LA, Jan. 2005.
K. Robert made several presentations documenting his research on fiber breakage at the 2005 Beltwide Cotton Conferences in New Orleans, LA, Jan. 2005. These included: "Blending of cotton fiber samples for length measurement," "Method for determining broken fiber content in ring-spun yarn," "Defining the processing value of cotton," "The original cotton fiber length distribution," and "Cotton fiber breakage and its relation to length distribution, short fiber, and uniformity."
J. Rodgers made two presentations at the 2005 Beltwide Cotton Conferences in New Orleans, LA, Jan. 2005. These included: "Rapid determination by NIR of the cotton content of blend fabrics after dyeing" and "Specific research and quality issues for cotton utilization."
J. Rodgers and D. Thibodeaux jointly presented "Updating HVI color measurements" at Cotton Incorporated's 2005 Engineered Fiber Selection (EFS) Conference, June 2005.
D. Thibodeaux presented "Development of NIST-traceable HVI color measurements" at the 2005 Beltwide Cotton Conferences in New Orleans, LA, Jan. 2005.
Bel Berger, P., Bugao, X. Cotton quality: white speck neps from fiber to fabric. CD-ROM. Memphis, TN. 2005 National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conferences. P. 2446-2462.
Bel Berger, P. Neps in U.S. cottons. Proceedings of the 2005 Beltwide Cotton Conferences. CD-ROM. Memphis, TN:National Cotton Council.
Cui, X., Price, J.B., Robert Jr, K.Q., Thibodeaux, D.P., Watson, M.D. Establishing benchmark values for SFC research. CD-ROM. Memphis, TN. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conferences. 2005.
Campbell, J.H., Delhom, C.D., Thibodeaux, D.P. FQEL: Laboratory data validation. CD-ROM. Memphis, TN. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conferences. 2005.
Davidonis, G.H., Boquet, D.J. Genotype variability of cotton fiber and yarn properties across planting dates. CD-R0M. Memphis, TN. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. 2005.
Davidonis, G.H., Meredith Jr, W.R., Heitholt, J.J., Richard, O.A., Ingber, B.F. The influence of cotton seed weight on fiber per seed and fiber property uniformity. Journal of New Seeds. 2005. v. 7(3). p. 1-13.
Davidonis, G.H., Meredith Jr, W.R., Heiholt, J., Richard, O.A., Ingber, B.F. Effects of seed weight changes on fibers per seed and fiber property uniformity. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. 2005. p. 1932.
Montalvo Jr, J.G., Von Hoven, T.M. Micronaire, maturity and fineness research. CDROM. Memphis, TN. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. 2005.
Robert Jr, K.Q., Dunn, M.C., Cosenza, F.A. Blending of cotton fiber samples. CD-ROM. Memphis, TN. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. 2005.
Robert Jr, K.Q., Dunn, M.C., Price, J.B., Cui, X. Method for determining broken fiber in ring spun yarn. CD-ROM. Memphis, TN. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. 2005.
Robert Jr, K.Q. Defining the processing value of cotton. CD-ROM. Memphis, TN. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. 2005.
Robert Jr, K.Q. Cotton fiber breakage and its relation to length distribution, short fiber, and uniformity. CD=ROM. Memphis, TN. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. 2005.
Rousselle, M.A., Thibodeaux, D.P., French, A.D. 2005. Cotton Fiber Properties and Moisture: Water of Imbibition. Textile Research Journal. v. 75(2). p. 177-180.
Thibodeaux, D.P., Campbell, J.H., Knowlton, J. Development of NIST-traceable HVI color measurements. CD-ROM. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. 2005.
Robert Jr, K.Q. The original cotton fiber length distribution. CD-ROM. Memphis, TN. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conferences. 2005.
Davidonis, G.H., Bouquet, D. Yield distribution and fiber properties of single and twin row cotton. 2004. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. Poster No. 904.
Delhom, C.D., Cui, X., Campbell, J.H., Thibodeaux, D.P. Determination of fiber and product quality through small scale processing trials: fiber to yarn. CD-ROM. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. 2005.
Montalvo Jr, J.G. 2005. Relationships between micronaire, fineness and maturity. part 1. fundamentals. Journal of Cotton Science. 9:81-88.
Montalvo Jr, J.G., Von Hoven, T.M. 2005. Relationships between micronaire, fineness and maturity. part II. experimental. Journal of Cotton Science. 9:89-96.