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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Cotton Ginning Research » Research » Research Project #438000

Research Project: Improving the Production and Processing of Western and Long-Staple Cotton and Companion Crops to Enhance Quality, Value, and Sustainability

Location: Cotton Ginning Research

Project Number: 3050-41000-010-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Apr 13, 2020
End Date: Apr 12, 2025

Objective 1: Integrate new information and technologies for new cultivars, and production/handling practices to enhance quality and utility of Western and long-staple cotton for ginning. Subobjective 1: Improve or enhance cotton fiber ginnability, textile utility, and cottonseed end-use value of new germplasm releases of both Upland and Pima cottons. Objective 2: Develop and integrate new or improved ginning technologies, methods, and processes to enhance product quality and value, increase process efficiencies, and reduce environmental risk of Western and other long-staple cottons. Subobjective 2A: Improve seed cotton conditioning and foreign matter and contamination extraction. Subobjective 2B: Develop improved ginning technologies to increase efficiency and productivity and enhance fiber quality. Subobjective 2C: Improve or enhance fiber quality and end use. Objective 3: Enable commercial technologies that support processing of cotton companion crops. Subobjective 3: Assist tree nut industries in improving process efficiency and reducing environmental risk.

The Southwestern Cotton Ginning Research Laboratory (SWCGRL) mission 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. To carry out this mission, our core problem is to address critical cotton and related companion crop production, ginning or processing, textile processing, and regulatory compliance issues - especially those pertaining to Western irrigated cottons. The cotton production and processing chain is an integrated system that starts with plant breeders selecting cultivars for yield and other factors. It includes cultural practices and harvesting, seed-cotton drying and cleaning, ginning, lint cleaning, bale packaging, shipping, storage, marketing, spinning, weaving, finishing, and garment making. U.S. agriculture, including cotton, has increasingly become more integrated where companion and rotation crop systems rely on and influence one another. Similarly, environmental impact and compliance plays a significant role in agricultural production and processing. In this 5-year research cycle, our group will use engineering, understanding of ginning systems and agricultural processing, and knowledge of the factors that affect cotton quality to assist cotton breeders in developing easier-ginning higher-quality cultivars; to develop ginning solutions for superior foreign matter removal, more efficient and lower cost operations, and less fiber and cottonseed damage; to assist agricultural industries in reducing environmental footprints and complying with regulations; and to develop information and technologies that increase process efficiencies and enhance economic viability of cotton companion crops.