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Since 1949 Agricultural Engineers and Scientists at the USDA Southwestern Cotton Ginning Research Laboratory have solved practical problems related to post-harvest processing of cotton, helping the industry to maintain fiber value, reduce operating costs, and comply with environmental regulations. Our lab specializes in irrigated long-staple cotton, roller ginning, and cotton companion crop issues.
The Southwestern Cotton Ginning Research Laboratory leads research to assist the ginning industry and agricultural processers in complying with regulatory standards.
Providing agricultural experiences for school aged children
Roller ginning began with the Churka gin, which was developed during the 12th and 14th centuries in India and China. This gin produced 5 pounds of lint per day. Nowadays, a 40-inch wide high-speed roller gin stand processes cotton at 1,900 pounds of lint per hour, and is used to gin Pima and high-quality Upland cottons grown in the Western U.S.
The mission of the Southwestern Cotton Ginning Research Laboratory is to develop technologies that solve problems directly affecting, or being affected by, the cotton ginning industry to maximize the economic viability and competitiveness and minimize the environmental impact of the U.S. cotton production and processing system. Ginning is one step in the total cotton system, and it interacts with earlier steps such as harvesting and later steps such as mill processing. A series of targeted research projects will address critical cotton production, ginning, textile processing, and regulatory compliance issues, especially those pertaining to Western irrigated cottons. Cooperation between this Unit and other public and private organizations significantly strengthens the in-house research program.