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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Cotton Ginning Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #207736


item Hughs, Sidney
item Thomson, Steven

Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/11/2007
Publication Date: 1/11/2007
Citation: Thomasson, J.A., Hughs, S.E., Sui, R., Thomson, S.J. 2007. Thermal infrared remote sensing of cotton module condition: A first look. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. January 9-12, 2007, New Orleans, Louisiana. 2007 CDROM p. 685-689.

Interpretive Summary: Cotton modules have been used extensively for over 25 years for both field and gin yard storage of harvested seed cotton. Cotton will store indefinitely in a module as long as the cotton in the module is harvested dry and kept dry during storage. If the cotton becomes wet during storage due to poor tarps or other causes or the seed cotton is harvested too wet to begin with, the cotton within the module will start to deteriorate in quality. The only way to stop the fiber quality deterioration is to promptly gin the cotton stored in the module. Producers and gin managers routinely monitor the temperature of their modules using hand held temperature probes to check for any heating as a sign of a quality problem. This method is slow and time consuming. The object of the work reported here is to determine the potential of using a thermal-infrared camera as a rapid and less labor intensive way of monitoring module storage temperatures.

Technical Abstract: Cotton modules are used for field storage of harvested cotton prior to ginning. Modules have been in use for over 25 years and have become the predominant, if not exclusive, method used by producers because they are relatively efficient and economical. However, the quality of the cotton in a module can decrease over time if the module becomes wet. This can happen if the cotton is damp when harvested, but barring that, problems are usually related to poor formation of the module, poor covering of the module, and/or storing the module in an area where it sits in standing water. The damage comes in the form of heating and rotting of the module from within, and while this process is occurring the quality of the fiber and seed in the module are being reduced. After a module has been delivered to the gin yard, it can be pulled for immediate ginning if it is identified as being hot. Modules can be tested for temperature by inserting a probe into the module, and this is a common occurrence at many gins. However, this process can be difficult to administer during gin season, it can be very time consuming and thus expensive, and it may not be very effective if there are a large number of modules that must be probed - substantial degradation may occur during the time it takes to have all the modules probed. The objective of this project was to collect preliminary data with a thermal-infrared camera in an effort to validate the concept of remote sensing of module temperature.