Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Agricultural, Food, and Biological Engineering
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/3/2003
Publication Date: 9/28/2004
Citation: Funk, P.A. Thermal Defoliation. 2004. Encyclopedia of Agricultural, Food and Biological Engineering. p 1-3.
Interpretive Summary: Thermal defoliation is defined, drawn out of its historic context and placed in its present context in this 1500 word encyclopedia article. Emphasis is placed on advantages of defoliation in general, of thermal defoliation in particular, on the patent literature, and on important commercial applications of the technology.
Technical Abstract: The negative perception some consumers currently share regarding agricultural chemicals has resulted in an increase in demand for organic food and fiber, and increasing political pressures for stringent regulation of agricultural production practices. This has revived interest in thermal defoliation of cotton, and resulted in a prototype machine that improves on concepts first developed half a century ago. A device treating cotton plants with hot air resulted in defoliation rates approaching 80%, facilitated early picking, and also eliminated insects responsible for cotton stickiness.