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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Cotton Ginning Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #226465

Title: Harvesting and seed cotton cleaning of a cotton cultivar with a fragile seed coat

Author
item Armijo, Carlos
item Baker, Kevin
item Hughs, Sidney
item BARNES, EDWARD
item GILLUM, MARVIS

Submitted to: Journal of Cotton Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/4/2009
Publication Date: 7/15/2009
Citation: Armijo, C.B., Baker, K.D., Hughs, S.E., Barnes, E.M., Gillum, M.N. 2009. Harvesting and seed cotton cleaning of a cotton cultivar with a fragile seed coat. Journal of Cotton Science. 13:158-165.

Interpretive Summary: A particular high-yielding high-quality upland cotton cultivar contains a seed coat that is fragile and breaks easily. Seed coat fragments that remain in lint after the ginning process decrease spinning efficiency at the textile mill, and ultimately reduce the quality of finished goods. An experiment was conducted to determine the impact that harvester and seed-cotton cleaning treatments had on the fiber quality attributes of the cultivar with a fragile seed coat. The harvester treatments used different diameter spindles on the picker running at different speeds, and the seed-cotton cleaning treatments varied the number of seed-cotton cleaners from none to twice as many cleaners customarily used. Seed coat nep count in the fiber was used as an indicator for levels of seed coat fragments. Results showed that a larger spindle diameter had lower seed-cotton trash content at the wagon and feeder, less short fiber, and higher color grade: however, seed coat nep count was not different between spindles. In addition, it was found that as the number of seed-cotton cleaners increased, trash content in the: seed cotton (at the feeder); cottonseed; and fiber all decreased, and color grade improved. And again, seed coat nep count was not different among the levels of seed-cotton cleaning. All other fiber and cottonseed properties were not different among harvesting or seed-cotton cleaning treatments. It appeared that neither spindle size or spindle speed, nor increased seed-cotton cleaning helped manage seed coat fragments. Future research is planned to examine possible methods to reduce seed coat fragments through modifications at the lint cleaner. Reducing seed coat fragments in this high-yielding high-quality cotton cultivar will provide the producer with a profitable and desirable fiber.

Technical Abstract: Seed coat fragments that remain in lint after the ginning process decrease spinning efficiency at the textile mill, and ultimately reduce the quality of finished goods. An experiment was conducted to determine the impact that harvester and seed-cotton cleaning treatments had on the fiber quality attributes of an upland cultivar known to have fragile seed coats. Three harvester treatments examined the spindle size (diameter) and spindle speed (rpm) on the picker: 13-mm (1/2-in) spindles operated at 2000 rpm; and 14-mm (9/16-in) spindles operated at both 1500 and 2400 rpm. Three seed-cotton cleaning treatments varied the number of seed-cotton cleaners from none to twice as many cleaners customarily used. Seed coat nep count in the fiber as determined by AFIS was used as an indicator of seed coat fragment levels. Results showed that a larger spindle diameter had lower seed-cotton trash content at the wagon and feeder, less short fiber, and higher color grade: however, seed coat nep count was not different between spindles. In addition, it was found that as the number of seed-cotton cleaners increased, trash content in the: seed cotton (at the feeder); cottonseed; and fiber all decreased, and color grade improved. And again, seed coat nep count was not different among the levels of seed-cotton cleaning. All other fiber and cottonseed properties were not different among harvesting or seed-cotton cleaning treatments. It appeared that neither spindle size or spindle speed, nor increased seed-cotton cleaning helped manage seed coat fragments. Future research is planned to examine possible methods to reduce seed coat fragments through modifications at the lint cleaner.