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Title: Review of Fiber Quality Effects of Seed Cotton Moisture Restoration in Ginning

item Byler, Richard
item Boykin Jr, James
item Gamble, Gary

Submitted to: World Cotton Research Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/10/2007
Publication Date: 9/14/2007
Citation: Byler, R.K., Boykin Jr, J.C., Gamble, G.R. 2007. Review of Fiber Quality Effects of Seed Cotton Moisture Restoration in Ginning. World Cotton Research Conference Proceedings. Paper No. 2247. 25 p.

Interpretive Summary: Ginning seed cotton at lower cotton fiber moisture content results in lower fiber length and strength quality. Seed cotton when it is harvested under good harvest conditions in the fall has lower fiber moisture content than recommended for ginning and gins sometimes dry the fiber further to better remove foreign matter. At the current time, few gins add moisture to the seed cotton. This article describes the results from several years of work examining methods of adding moisture to seed cotton, before ginning, and the resulting impact on fiber quality. All studies showed a small but consistent improvement in fiber length, fiber length uniformity, short fiber, and fiber strength when ginning occurred after moisture restoration. Fiber with these improved properties is more valuable in the marketplace especially in the increasingly important Far Eastern markets. These approaches will make cotton produced in the US more competitive on the world market.

Technical Abstract: Historical data, mostly collected prior to 1980, has shown that the drying of seed cotton often correlates with reduced lint quality, especially fiber length, and yarn strength. This report discusses several studies conducted since 2003 which have examined in more detail the possibility of adding moisture to seed cotton. The emphasis was to improve cotton fiber properties, especially fiber length and fiber length coefficient of variation. These recent studies have consistently shown that ginning at a higher moisture content improved the fiber properties (length, length uniformity, and strength) as measured by the Advanced Fiber Information System and the High Volume Instrument and that the method of achieving that moisture content, whether by less drying or by moisture restoration, had no statistically significant effect. In some cases the cotton ginned at higher moisture content also had somewhat more non-lint content.