HARVESTING AND GINNING PROCESSES TO ENHANCE THE PROFITABILITY OF STRIPPER COTTON
Location: Cotton Production and Processing Research
Title: Ginning picker and stripper harvested High Plains cotton
Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 12, 2010
Publication Date: April 26, 2010
Citation: Wanjura, J.D., Faulkner, W.B., Holt, G.A. 2010. Ginning picker and stripper harvested High Plains cotton. In: Proceedings of the Beltwide Cotton Conferences, January 4-7, 2010, New Orleans, LA. 2010 CDROM. p. 628-638.
Interpretive Summary: Texas High Plains cotton has improved over the last ten years with regard to yield and HVI fiber quality. New harvesting and ginning practices are needed to preserve fiber quality and maximize return to the producer. The objective of this work is to investigate the influence of harvest method, number of seed cotton extractor cleaners (e.g. stick machines), and number of lint cleaners used during ginning on lint turnout, fiber quality, and lint value. Two varieties grown under irrigated conditions were harvested with a spindle picker, brush-roll stripper with field cleaner, and a brush-roll stripper bypassing the field cleaner. Differences in turnout, fiber quality, and lint value were observed by variety and harvest method. Turnout, fiber quality and lint value were not influenced by the number of stick machines (extractors) used in the ginning process. Minor differences in fiber quality by the number of lint cleaners used were observed.
Improvements to average fiber length and strength have been observed for Texas High Plains cotton over the last decade due to improved varieties. Varietal improvements have also increased irrigated yields in the region. New harvest methods and ginning practices are needed to better preserve fiber quality. Since Texas now produces approximately 50% of the US cotton crop, this research will play an important role in improving the competitiveness of US cotton on the world market. The objective of this work was to investigate the influence of variety, harvest method, seed cotton cleaning, and lint cleaning on lint turnout and fiber quality. Seed cotton from two varieties (DP 143 B2F and FM 9180 B2F) was harvested from an irrigated field near Lubbock, TX, using three harvest methods: picker, stripper w/FC, and stripper NFC. Ginning tests were conducted on 1/3 bale portions of the seed cotton on full scale ginning equipment at the USDA – ARS Cotton Production and Processing Research Unit in Lubbock, TX. The results of these tests indicate that the number of seed cotton extractor type cleaners used in the ginning process have very little effect on turnout, fiber quality, or lint value. Processing rates used in the study were approximately 1.5 – 1.8 bales/hr-ft and were within manufacturer stated capacities. It is expected that increasing the processing rate through the seed cotton cleaning equipment to levels seen in commercial ginning plants near 3 bales/hr-ft will result in reduced cleaning efficiency and fiber quality. Differences in fiber quality and lint value were most pronounced between varieties due to differences in foreign matter content and fiber maturity. Differences in fiber quality, turnout, and lint value were observed by harvesting method and tended to favor picker harvested cotton. Differences in fiber quality by the number of lint cleaners used were observed but were not large enough to significantly influence lint loan value.