Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 18, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Fiber quality degrades during seed cotton storage and reduces farmer profits. Methods to measure moisture during harvesting and moduling are not readily available. Experimental moisture sensors and sample collector devices were developed, installed, and evaluated on a mechanical harvester and on a module builder. Results indicated that moisture could be predicted sufficiently to prevent damage during storage. Additional research is required for the harvester but the module moisture system is ready for commercial application. Implementation of the moisture measurement system in either the harvester or module builder will save millions of dollars annually.
Technical Abstract: Moisture meters were constructed, installed, and tested on a cotton harvester and a module builder in 1996 and 1997. Moisture contents measured during harvesting indicated a greater variation than those during moduling. Data correlated well with reference laboratory measurements with field measurements about 1% higher for the harvester and 0.5% lower for the module builder than reference lab methods. Successful operations in the field clearly indicated the utility of moisture measurements in ensuring that recommended guidelines are followed during harvesting and storage of seed cotton. Knowledge of the moisture content allows the farmer to make risk assessments to protect fiber and cottonseed quality and to ensure adequate profits.