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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ENHANCING QUALITY, UTILITY, SUSTAINABILITY, ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF COTTON AND ITS BYPRODUCTS THROUGH IMPROVEMENT IN HARVEST/GIN PROCESSING

Location: Cotton Ginning Research

Title: Beltwide cotton quality before and after lint cleaning

Authors
item Whitelock, Derek
item Armijo, Carlos
item Boykin Jr, James
item Buser, Michael -
item Holt, Gregory
item Barnes, Edward -
item Valco, Thomas
item Findley, Dennis -
item Waston, Michael -

Submitted to: Journal of Cotton Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 29, 2011
Publication Date: September 30, 2011
Citation: Whitelock, D.P., Armijo, C.B., Boykin Jr, J.C., Buser, M.D., Holt, G.A., Barnes, E.M., Valco, T.D., Findley, D.S., Waston, M.D. 2011. Beltwide cotton quality before and after lint cleaning. Journal of Cotton Science. 15:282-291.

Interpretive Summary: There has been more concern recently about the short fiber content and neppiness of US upland cotton. Also, on the international market cottons with grades that are base grades for the U.S. loan chart are often considered discount cottons. A two-year commercial cotton gin sampling project was conducted during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 ginning seasons to assess the changes in upland cotton quality both during the ginning process and throughout the ginning season across the entire cotton belt. This report summarizes the cotton quality information collected to establish a baseline for future research efforts. Fiber quality measurements of ginned lint sampled before and after lint cleaning followed expected trends in that lint cleaning improved color grades, reduced foreign matter content and fiber length and length uniformity, and increased short fiber content and neps. Fiber quality measurements before and after lint cleaning summarized by cotton growing region showed similar trends to those summarized across the cotton belt, but relative differences in fiber quality measurements among regions highlights the impact of regional varieties and environmental factors. The data reinforce the importance of considering regional differences of an already variable biological product when working to address future quality and processing issues. This work will help to focus future research on gin machinery to improve cotton fiber quality and, thus, enhance the competitiveness of US cotton in international markets.

Technical Abstract: A two year, belt-wide commercial cotton gin sampling project was conducted during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 ginning seasons to assess the changes in upland cotton quality during the ginning process and throughout the ginning season across the entire cotton belt. This report summarizes the cotton quality information collected to establish a baseline for future research efforts to address cotton short fiber content and fiber entanglements, called neps, that occur during processing. Fiber quality measurements of ginned lint sampled before and after lint cleaning followed expected trends in that lint cleaning improved color grades, reduced foreign matter content and fiber length and length uniformity, and increased short fiber content and neps. Fiber quality measurements before and after lint cleaning summarized by cotton growing region showed similar trends to those summarized across the cotton belt. Differences in fiber quality measurements among regions were presented but not compared as many could likely be attributed to varietal and environmental differences among sampling sites. As part of a broader effort, this report should aid in developing innovative approaches to clean and maintain the quality of cotton fiber, while reducing short fiber content and neps.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014
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