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item Sassenrath, Gretchen
item FILIP, TO
item Williford, Julius - Ray

Submitted to: Transactions of the ASABE
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/14/2006
Publication Date: 7/10/2006
Citation: Sassenrath, G.F., Filip, T., Williford, J.R. 2006. Automated cotton sampler for determination of fiber quality spatial variability. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. Annual Meeting, July 9-12, 2006. Portland, OR. 326-PM-17 paper #061178. 6 pgs.

Interpretive Summary: This manuscript describes the automation for the cotton sampling system. The sampling system allows seed cotton to be separated during mechanical harvest for analysis and development of spatial maps of fiber properties. These maps are important in determining the profitability of the cotton crop, and help in the development of prescription maps for site-specific management of the crop. The automated system triggers the cotton sample based on distance traveled or time. Both the interval and duration of the sampling operation can be controlled. The sampling system uses the GPS of the cotton yield monitor to calculate distance. The GPS location is recorded for each sampling event. The system greatly improves the ease of use and accuracy of the sampling system.

Technical Abstract: Development of accurate prescription maps for site-specific management of crops requires knowledge of the spatially registered crop profitability. In cotton (Gossypium L. sps.), the quality of the crop alters the price paid for the lint, and hence is an important determinant of the net profit. Cotton yield monitors measure the variability of lint yield. To obtain the spatial variability of cotton fiber quality, we designed a system that collects cotton samples during the harvest operation. The system performed well under a production setting, but required a slower than optimal picking speed. Here, we describe an automated system developed for the cotton fiber sampler that allows collection of spatially registered cotton samples during the mechanical picking operation. The automated system can be programmed to collected samples over a specified distance or time. Using a dual sampling system allows near-continuous sampling. By automating the sample collection, picker speeds can be matched to those used during normal commercial operations. The automated system will allow more accurate spatial maps of cotton yield and quality, to better match management inputs with crop profitability.