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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Impact of Excess Moisture on Cotton Bales Stored in Polypropylene Bagging

Author
item Anthony, William

Submitted to: Cotton Gin and Oil Mill Press
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 17, 2003
Publication Date: March 17, 2003
Citation: Anthony, W.S. 2003. Impact of excess moisture on cotton bales stored in polypropylene bagging. Cotton Gin And Oil Mill Press. 104(25):5-10.

Interpretive Summary: The United States produces about 25% of the world cotton production cotton and continually seeks to improve monetary returns. Water is restored to cotton fiber near the end of the ginning process in many gins. This moisture reduces the forces required to package the cotton and also increases the marketable bale weight. Unfortunately if excessive moisture is added, the color of the cotton may degrade during storage and create difficulties with the end user. This study evaluated the impact of various levels of water added to cotton immediately before packaging in terms of its impact on fiber quality. About 40, 38, 28, 19, 12, and 0 (control) pounds of water per bale were sprayed on cotton before storage. Moisture contents after the over spray was applied were 12.7, 12.0, 10.4, 8.5, 7.4 and 4.8%. After the bale storage phase was completed, the final moisture contents were 8.2, 7.6, 7.0, 6.4, 6.6, and 6.1%. After storage for 149 days, the bales initially above 8.5% moisture were graded Middling Light Spot (32) as compared to 31 before storage. Thus, caution should be exercised when applying moisture to cotton before long term storage to avoid color degradation. Adoption of this information will prevent farmers from being penalized by textile mills for cotton bales that arrive at the mill at a lower color than desired.

Technical Abstract: The impact of spraying moisture on cotton fiber at the lint slide, packaging the bales at universal density, and storing the bales for 149 days at atmospheric conditions was evaluated in this study. About 40, 38, 28, 19, 12, and 0 (control) pounds of water were sprayed on fiber at the lint slide to six bales of cotton before storage. Initial lint moistures prior to moisture addition were about 4.8%. Moisture contents after the over spray was applied were 12.7, 12.0, 10.4, 8.5, 7.4 and 4.8%. After the bale storage phase was completed, the final moisture contents were 8.2, 7.6, 7.0, 6.4, 6.6, and 6.1%. The bale without any over spray increased from 4.8 to 6.1% moisture content during storage and the bale with 12 pounds of water added changed its moisture content from 7.4 to 6.6%. All bales that had moisture added lost weight during storage. The initial HVI color was 31 for all bales except the control bale that was color 32. After storage, the bales initially above 8.5% moisture were graded Middling Light Spot (32) as compared to 31 before storage. Caution should be exercised when applying moisture to cotton before long term storage.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014
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