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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Cotton Ginning Research » Research » Research Project #439071

Research Project: Utilizing Precision Technologies to Improve Cotton Fiber Quality During Production, Harvest and Ginning

Location: Cotton Ginning Research

Project Number: 6066-41440-009-005-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 28, 2020
End Date: Sep 27, 2024

The main objective of this project is to develop a system which utilizes spatial information from cotton fields coupled with production and harvest data to develop best management practices for improving cotton fiber quality and quantity. Use available technologies such as the “harvest identification” (HID) system on modern John Deere on-board module building cotton harvesters, which assigns a unique identification number to each module produced and records the latitude and longitude information for that module, in combination with spatial production and field data to determine the main effects on cotton fiber quantity and quality production. This system will allow for 1) the development of quality maps for cotton fields, 2) the relationship of production variables and ginning to be evaluated, and 3) examine the frequency of bark classing calls as related to field locations.

Cotton fields from University of Georgia (UGA) cooperators will be utilized in regional large-scale harvesting efforts for the reason of tracking field information, production data, and harvest information. The harvest identification (HID) of modules will be recorded as cotton during the harvest process. The modules will be tracked to the gin, where the permanent bale identification (PBI) numbers of bales produced from each module will be recorded. Fiber quality data, from both the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) classing and samples collected by the researchers, will be paired with the latitude and longitude information collected by the HID system. Spatial fiber quality maps will be produced from the paired data which allows the relationship of production variables such as variety, irrigation, soil texture and quality, and elevation with fiber quality to be analyzed. Fields will be surveyed for possible sources of bark, such as significant Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) stands prior to harvest, and plant damage post-harvest. The instances of bark calls by AMS will be viewed on the quality map allowing for a rapid comparison of cotton production area instances of plant damage or Palmer Amaranth and the presence of significant amounts of bark in the resultant bales. These data will be compiled to aid in the development of a decision aid for producers with the goal of increasing overall fiber quality and reducing instances of foreign matter and bark in the harvested fiber.