Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 9, 2004
Publication Date: June 1, 2004
Citation: Baker, K.D., Hughs, S.E., Mackey, J. 2004. Quality of spindle-picked cotton. In: Proceedings of the National Cotton Council. 2004 Beltwide Cotton Conferences, January 5-9, 2004, San Antonio, Texas. 2004 CDROM. p. 730. Interpretive Summary: Ever-increasing speeds for cotton spindle pickers without changing spindle design has resulted in an increase in spindle twists, seed coat breakage, and knots in individual fibers (neps), and has had a negative impact on cotton fiber quality. By quantifying the damage that results from increased spindle speeds, a baseline data set can be established that can be used as a comparison as spindle design is modified. It is anticipated that improved spindle designs will result, spindles that damage fiber less and benefit producers, ginners, textile manufacturers, and consumers at little to no out-of-pocket cost.
Technical Abstract: Three cotton varieties were grown under furrow-irrigated conditions in southern New Mexico and hand-harvested in a way that kept individual bolls intact. A one-half inch diameter Case-IH spindle was operated at 2000, 3000, and 4000 rpm and individual bolls presented to the rotating spindle, then the spindle was immediately stopped. The portion of seed cotton remaining on the spindle was determined, and the force to pull that cotton off the spindle was measured. Three cotton varieties were tested with moisture content approximately 8 percent. The portion of cotton that remained on the spindle ranged from 80 percent at 2000 rpm down to less than 40 percent for all three varieties tested. The peak force that occurred when pulling the seed cotton off the spindle ranged from about 0.75 pounds at 2000 rpm up to 2.7 pounds for all three cotton varieties. Samples have been collected for AFIS quality analysis, which will be conducted in the near future. Further studies are planned to aid in selecting an improved cotton picker spindle design.