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Improved Cotton Ginning Process

By Tara Weaver
February 6, 1998

A new computerized system that automatically measures cotton quality during ginning could improve fiber quality by 50 percent. The Agricultural Research Service's Cotton Ginning Research Unit in Stoneville, Miss., developed the system, which uses sensors to determine cotton quality and sends the information to a computer.

Once color, foreign matter and moisture content of the cotton are determined, the computer then routes the cotton through the appropriate cleaning and drying sequences to yield the highest-quality fiber.

Research at field ginsfrom1994 to 1997 shows that, by using the system, a farmer can collect an extra $10 to $20 in profits per bale. In 1994, one gin in Alabama boosted farmer profits by $16.72 per bale on about 42,000 bales--a total increase of more than $700,000. From 1995 to 1997, per-bale profits continued to increase to more than $35. The system also helps save the ginner nearly $1 per bale by reducing energy costs.

The technology is licensed exclusively to Zellweger Uster, an equipment manufacturer, and will be commercially available in 1998 under the trade name IntelliGin.

An in-depth story on this research appears in the February issue of Agricultural Research magazine. The story is also on the World Wide Web at:


Scientific Contact: W. Stanley Anthony is at the USDA-ARS Cotton Ginning Research Unit, 111 Experiment Station Road, P.O. Box 256, Stoneville, MS 38776-0256, phone (601) 686-3094, fax (601) 686-5483,

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