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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVE FIBER QUALITY AND INDUSTRY PROFITABILITY THROUGH ENHANCED EFFICIENCIES IN COTTON GINNING

Location: Cotton Ginning Laboratory(Stoneville, MS)

Title: The accuracy and calibration of three cotton bale moisture sensors used in a commercial gin with lint moisture restoration

Author
item Byler, Richard

Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 15, 2013
Publication Date: June 1, 2013
Citation: Byler, R.K. 2013. The accuracy and calibration of three cotton bale moisture sensors used in a commercial gin with lint moisture restoration. Proceedings of Beltwide Cotton Prod. Res. Conf., National Cotton Council, San Antonio, TX, pp. 1221-1228, CD ROM. 2013.

Interpretive Summary: Proper measurement of cotton bale moisture content (mc) is crucial to proper management of a cotton gin. It is important to avoid producing wet cotton, unacceptable for Commodity Credit Corporation Marketing Assistance Loan Program, which is defined to be a bale of cotton which is at or above 7.5% wet basis (8.1% dry basis) at any point in the bale. Several meters are available from different manufacturers for the measurement of cotton mc and the accuracy of some of these meters has been evaluated in earlier studies. Based on the previous studies, data were collected with three of these meters at a commercial gin which had lint moisture restoration capability and samples of lint taken from the same bales which were tested by the standard cotton mc measurement, the oven method, at the USDA, ARS Cotton Ginning Research Unit in Stoneville, MS. The data included measurements by each meter plus the reference mc for 731 bales. The Delmhorst bale moisture probe, corrected for bale temperature as documented in the manual, was the most accurate of the three meters studied with no further corrections. The Uster Intelligin® moisture meter was found to be accurate, but measured the mc of lint before final moisture restoration therefore it was not as accurate in predicting the final bale mc and was not helpful in improving the bale mc measurement. After a simple correction to the readings the Sam Jackson Tex-Max® was the most accurate. A linear offset based on the temperature of the bale further improved the accuracy of the Tex-Max meter. Improved data based on the Tex-Max would lead to improved control of cotton bale mc which will result in improved profitability for producers and ginners.

Technical Abstract: Proper measurement of bale moisture content (mc) is crucial to proper management of a cotton gin. It is important to avoid producing wet cotton, unacceptable for Commodity Credit Corporation Marketing Assistance Loan Program, which is defined to be a bale of cotton which is at or above 7.5% wet basis (8.1% dry basis) at any point in the bale. Several meters are available from different manufacturers for the measurement of cotton mc and the accuracy of some of these meters has been evaluated in earlier studies. Based on the previous studies, data were collected with three of these meters at a commercial gin which had lint moisture restoration capability and samples of lint taken from the same bales which were tested by the standard cotton mc measurement, the oven method, at the USDA, ARS Cotton Ginning Research Unit in Stoneville, MS. The data included measurements by each meter plus the reference mc for 731 bales. The Delmhorst bale moisture probe, corrected for bale temperature as documented in the manual, was the most accurate of the three meters studied with no further corrections. When moisture was restored to bales the mc averaged 1.1 percentage points higher in the bale than in the lint flue. After a simple correction to the readings the Sam Jackson Tex-Max® was the most accurate. The Uster Intelligin® moisture meter was found to be accurate, but measured the mc of lint before final moisture restoration and was not helpful in improving the bale mc measurement. After further analysis it was found that a linear offset based on the temperature of the bale further improved the accuracy of the Tex-Max meter.

Last Modified: 9/23/2014
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