Submitted to: Proceedings of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International (ASABE)
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/29/2011
Publication Date: 9/1/2011
Citation: Wanjura, J.D., Faulkner, W.B., Holt, G.A., Pelletier, M.G. 2011. Influence of seed cotton extractors and cleaning rate on gin turnout and fiber quality. Proceedings of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International (ASABE). August 7-10, 2011, Louisville, KY. Paper No. 1111287.
Interpretive Summary: Cotton producers on the Texas High Plains are beginning to look to spindle pickers to harvest a portion of the regional crop because yields and quality have improved substantially over the last ten years due to cultivar changes and improved irrigation practices. Compared to the brush-roll stripper typically used to harvest the High Plains crop, benefits of spindle picking include improved fiber quality, improved field productivity under high yield conditions, and reduced seed cotton foreign matter content. Since the spindle picker is relatively new to the region, gins are not accustomed to processing the cleaner and often higher quality fiber of spindle picked cotton. This study was designed to investigate the influence of harvest method (stripper or picker), number of stick machines used in the seed cotton cleaning system before the gin stand (1 or 2), and seed cotton cleaning rate (high, medium, and low) on seed cotton cleanliness, lint turnout, bale value, and fiber and yarn quality for cotton grown in the High Plains of Texas. Results indicate that picker harvested cotton contains less initial foreign matter than stripper harvested cotton and therefore, higher lint turnout after ginning. Seed cotton cleaning system efficiencies were lower for picked cotton due to the lower initial foreign matter content. Seed cotton cleaning systems utilizing two stick machines removed more foreign matter from seed cotton than those only using one. Cleaning rate had no influence on seed cotton cleaning system efficiency. Fiber quality was better for picker harvested cotton, and the use of two stick machines improved fiber color characteristics. Final bale values were higher for picked cotton, but bale value decreased after one lint cleaner for picker harvested cotton, whereas total bale values for stripped cotton increased after one lint cleaner. Yarn testing results indicated no difference between stripper or picker harvested cotton for yarn strength or elongation measurements, but imperfections were increased for yarn produced from stripper harvested cotton. The results of this study provide valuable information to producers and ginners for maximizing fiber quality and final bale value for picker and stripper harvested cotton.
Technical Abstract: Texas High Plains cotton has improved over the last ten years with regard to yield and high volume instrument (HVI) fiber quality. Harvesting and ginning practices are needed which preserve fiber quality and maximize return to the producer. The objective of this work is to investigate the influence of harvest method, number of seed cotton extractor cleaners (e.g., stick machines), and seed cotton cleaning rate on foreign matter content, lint turnout, bale value, and fiber and yarn quality. Picker harvested cotton contained less foreign matter than stripper harvested cotton, and this affected differences by harvest method for total foreign matter removed by the stick machines, total foreign matter removed during the ginning process, and lint turnout. The use of two stick machines removed more foreign material from seed cotton than using only one, and more foreign material was removed by the stick machines at slower seed cotton cleaning rates. Total stick machine seed cotton loss was higher for seed cotton cleaning systems utilizing two stick machines, but was unaffected by harvest method or seed cotton cleaning rate. Seed cotton cleaning system efficiency was greater for stripper harvested cotton and when two stick machines were used, but seed cotton cleaning rate had no effect. Fiber quality was influenced most by harvest method where picker harvested cotton exhibited improved HVI and advanced fiber information system (AFIS) fiber quality parameters compared to stripper harvested cotton. The use of two stick machines improved fiber reflectance and yellowness properties and reduced lint foreign matter content. Seed cotton cleaning rate had a minimal effect on fiber quality. Total bale values were higher for picker harvested cotton but were not influenced by the number of stick machines used or seed cotton cleaning rate. Bale values for picker cotton decreased between one and two stages of lint cleaning while stripper harvested bale values increased. Yarn imperfections were reduced for ring spun yarn produced from picker harvested cotton processed through one stick machine at the high cleaning rate. The findings of this work support the current recommendations of using one stick machine in seed cotton cleaning systems processing picker harvested cotton and two stick machines in systems processing stripper harvested cotton.