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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: Ginning U.S. cotton for domestic and export markets

Authors
item Hughs, Sidney
item Armijo, Carlos
item Byler, Richard
item Whitelock, Derek

Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: May 17, 2011
Publication Date: May 18, 2011
Citation: Hughs, S.E., Armijo, C.B., Byler, R.K., Whitelock, D.P. 2011. Ginning U.S. cotton for domestic and export markets. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. 569-577.

Interpretive Summary: The U.S. cotton crop is produced by a highly mechanized production system that seeks to minimize manual labor while maximizing fiber quality. It is estimated that a bale of U.S. cotton is produced using approximately three man hours of labor while foreign producers may utilize several hundred man hours per bale. However, in comparison to growths that utilize hand picking and significant manual labor for processing, U.S. mechanization has resulted in some ginned fiber quality problems such as neps and short fiber. A significant proportion of current ginning research is aimed at addressing these fiber quality issues and improving the quality of U.S. cotton fiber. This paper looks at the impact that various current ginning practices have on the quality of U.S. cottons.

Technical Abstract: The U.S. cotton crop is produced by a highly mechanized production system that seeks to minimize manual labor while maximizing fiber quality. It is estimated that a bale of U.S. cotton is produced using approximately three man hours of labor while foreign producers may utilize several hundred man hours per bale. U.S. mechanization has resulted in an increase in some ginned fiber quality problems in comparison to foreign growths that utilize hand picking and significant manual labor for processing. The majority of U.S. cotton production is exported and must compete in fiber quality with hand-picked cottons for markets. U.S. cotton competes very well in low levels of bale contamination with foreign material, accurate and reliable fiber parameter classification, integrity of the individual cotton bale, and reliability of contract fulfillment. However, American cotton receives complaints from foreign customers of lower length uniformity, increased short fiber and increased neps in comparison to hand-picked cottons. These particular quality factors are affected by the level of mechanical processing that cotton fiber receives during the harvesting and ginning process. As a result, a significant proportion of current ginning research is aimed at improving the mechanical processing of cotton to decrease the impact on baled fiber quality and making U.S. cotton more competitive in all raw fiber quality areas. This paper looks at the impact that various current U.S. ginning practices have on the quality of U.S. cottons.

Last Modified: 12/17/2014
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