Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/8/2003
Publication Date: 8/1/2003
Citation: Baker, K.D., Hughs, S.E., Mackey, J.H. Quality of spindle-picked cotton. CD-ROM. Memphis, TN: National Cotton Council. 2003.
Interpretive Summary: Spindle picking has become the preferred method of harvesting most cotton in the U.S. Improvements to the cotton harvester have primarily focused on increased speed in order to reduce the cost of harvesting and reducing head weight. As the spindle speed has increased, cotton fibers can wrap more tightly around the spindle. As spindle diameter decreases, cotton fibers will wrap around the spindle more and will also become tighter on the spindle. As spindle length decreases, cotton plants must be further compressed as they pass through the picking zone. These changes have resulted in a general decrease in cotton fiber quality, particularly regarding spindle twists, preparation, and neps.
Technical Abstract: Three cotton varieties were grown under furrow-irrigated conditions in southern New Mexico and harvested with three different spindle picker machine/speed combinations. Results for harvest losses and trash content showed a highly significant interaction between variety and machine/speed combination. This interaction caused difficulty in interpreting results from this 1-year study. Therefore, a follow-up study is planned.