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item McAlister Iii, David

Submitted to: Journal of Cotton Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/3/2004
Publication Date: 3/1/2005
Citation: McAlister, III, D. D., Rogers, C. D. 2005. The effect of harvesting procedures on fiber and yarn quality of ultra-narrow-row cotton. Journal of Cotton Science 9:15-23.

Interpretive Summary: The harvesting method currently applied to harvesting UNR cotton has been a detriment to its acceptance in the market place. Although planting in narrow rows provides a substantial advantage for marginal fields in terms of yield, mills have been reluctant to consume the cotton due to the stripper harvesting method. As a result, the UNR cotton is perceived as inferior due to high foreign matter levels as a result of the harvesting method. Spindle picking UNR cotton was a focus of this research and it proves that alternative methods of harvesting UNR cotton would quite likely make the cotton acceptable for the market. This work lays the foundation for research on improving harvesting methods for UNR cottons.

Technical Abstract: The ultra narrow row (UNR) cotton system is defined as a method of planting a cotton field with closely spaced rows. The row spacing for UNR cotton is typically 7.5 inches to 15 inches. The potential for increased yield by using the URN system has caught the attention of U.S. cotton farmers, and thus the attention of ginners and textile mills. While these three groups share an interest in UNR cotton, they do not shar the same opinion. Producers favor UNR cotton because of the potential for increase yield, a shorter growing season, and lower equipment costs. Conversely, cotton ginners, buyers, and spinners are wary of UNR cotton because of the current perception of increased levels of non-lint content. For gins not prepared to handle UNR strippper harvested cotton, increased non-lint content can reduce the efficiency of the gin and increase wear on ginning equipment. Spinners are wary of UNR cotton because studies have shown that increased non-lint content in the cotton fiber can cause an increased number of ends down in spinning, increased waste in the card room, and poor yarn and fabric quality. Very little research has been conducted on the impact of UNR cotton in the textile plant. This study focused on row spacing and harvesting method to determine their impact on several factors important to the yarn spinner including waste, efficiency, and yarn quality. The results indicate that an alternate harvesting method could provide the boost UNR required to make it an attractive planting alternative, particularly in marginal fields.