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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Cotton Ginning Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #208009


item Hughs, Sidney
item Gamble, Gary

Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/11/2007
Publication Date: 1/11/2007
Citation: Hughs, S.E., Gamble, G.R., Tristao, D.C. 2007. Long-term storage effects on fiber and textile quality of polyethylene wrapped cotton bales. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. January 9-12, 2007, New Orleans, Louisiana. 2007 CDROM p.1936-1942.

Interpretive Summary: In the United States, cotton bales are normally stored in covered warehouses after ginning and before marketing. However, some cotton producers store their bales outside and uncovered either by choice or because of shortage of warehouse space. Not much research has been done to determine the effects on fiber quality relative to long term bale storage conditions. To address the fiber quality question, a one year bale storage test was initiated. An equal number of paired bales of cotton were stored inside an approved warehouse and also outside in a storage yard. Each of the bales was monitored for temperature and humidity during the entire storage period. After one year, the bales were re-sampled for HVI fiber properties and the cotton was spun into yarn and dyed cloth was made. The overall results for this test showed that there was no significant difference in HVI, yarn, or dyed fabric properties between the inside and outside stored bales after one year. It should be noted that all bales were hermetically sealed in a specially formulated polyethylene bale covering whose integrity was monitored and maintained during the storage period.

Technical Abstract: Cotton bales are stored for various lengths of time after ginning in any given year depending on crop size as well as market demand. Storage of cotton bales in covered warehouses is the general industry practice for most of the U.S. cotton belt. However, some cotton bales are stored in outside holding yards by producer preference and, for the past two harvest seasons, because of lack of available indoor storage due to the size of the U.S. cotton crop. Data is lacking on the relative effects on cotton quality between outside and inside storage of cotton bales. A one year bale storage test was initiated to determine the effects of long-term outside and inside storage conditions on fiber and textile processing quality. Ten bales were stored in an approved warehouse and ten bales were stored in an outside storage yard. The bales were covered with a specially formulated linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) film with UV inhibitors. Each bale was sampled to determine HVI properties at the time of ginning and then instrumented with a temperature and humidity recorder prior to being placed in storage. The report will analyze any differences in cotton quality factors due to storage from raw fiber through textile processing.