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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Cotton Ginning Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #198983


item Baker, Kevin
item Hughs, Sidney

Submitted to: Proceedings of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International (ASABE)
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/10/2006
Publication Date: 7/10/2006
Citation: Baker, K.D., Hughs, S.E. 2006. Spindle speed effects on cotton quality. Proceedings of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International (ASABE). Paper No. 061079.

Interpretive Summary: Spindle picking of cotton was developed in the 1930’s and 1940’s as a means to speed up and reduce the cost of harvest. Prior to this, all cotton was hand-harvested. Over time, 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 capacity in order to reduce the cost of harvesting. As cotton harvesters have gotten bigger and faster, spindle speeds have increased. As the speed has increased, cotton fibers can wrap more tightly around the spindle. Spindle sizes have also decreased in both diameter and length in order to reduce the weight of the picker head. As spindle diameter decreases, cotton fibers will wrap around the spindle more and 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 at three different spindle speeds (1500, 2000, and 2400 rpm). Stalk losses were significantly greater with a spindle speed of 1500 rpm than with the higher spindle speeds, particularly for the Delta Pine 565 and Pima varieties. No significant differences were found for trash content nor among the HVI classing data. Results from AFIS data and open-end spinning tests are not yet available.