Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/10/2009
Publication Date: 5/1/2009
Citation: Faulkner, W.B., Wanjura, J.D., Shaw, B.W., Hequet, E.F. 2009. Effect of harvesting method on fiber and yarn quality from irrigated cotton on the High Plains. In: Proceedings of the Beltwide Cotton Conferences, January 5-8, 2009, San Antonio, TX. p. 449-461. 2009 CDROM. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: In recent years, Texas cotton production has represented almost half of all the US cotton production, with most of that production coming from the High Plains. Due to the harsh weather conditions, most cotton on the High Plains is of more storm-proof varieties that are harvested using stripper harvesters. Unlike picker harvesters which use spindles to remove seed cotton from the boll of the plant, stripper harvesters use brushes and bats that indiscriminately remove seed cotton, bolls, leaves, and branches from the plant. As a result, stripper harvested cotton contains more foreign matter than picked cotton and generally contains more immature fibers that are left on the plant by spindle harvesters. Stripper harvesters have several advantages over picker harvesters, including lower purchase prices, fewer moving parts leading to lower fuel and maintenance requirements, and greater efficiency in low yielding cotton. Picker harvesters, however, pick cleaner cotton, are perceived to maintain fiber quality better than strippers, and are able to harvest at higher speeds in high yielding stands. Foreign textile mills continue to raise their standards for fiber quality as cotton spinners are forced to compete with synthetic fibers. Increased yields in the region and higher quality demands have the potential to make harvesting High Plains cotton with pickers an attractive option. The objective of this research is to compare fiber and yarn quality from four varieties of cotton harvested on the High Plains using modern picker and stripper harvesters.