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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Cotton Ginning Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #329696

Research Project: Enhancing the Quality, Utility, Sustainability and Environmental Impact of Western and Long-Staple Cotton through Improvements in Harvesting, Processing, and Utilization

Location: Cotton Ginning Research

Title: Seed cotton unloading systems

item Funk, Paul
item Wanjura, John

Submitted to: Journal of Cotton Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2017
Publication Date: 4/12/2017
Publication URL:
Citation: Funk, P.A., Wanjura, J.D. 2017. Seed cotton unloading systems. Journal of Cotton Science. 21:51-59.

Interpretive Summary: Significant technical advances have occurred in the cotton ginning industry, necessitating a rewriting of the 1994 edition of the “Cotton Ginners Handbook,” the classic technology transfer reference volume that our stakeholders depend on. Part of a series, this article covers the section of the cotton gin most impacted by recent disruptive changes that have been made in the way raw cotton is harvested, packaged and transported. Information from industry, university, and Federal research laboratory sources has been brought together to give cotton gin managers and operators practical guidance in design, annual planning, dormant season repair, and day-to-day operations during the processing season.

Technical Abstract: The objective of this article was to review the literature and describe the current technology used by U.S. cotton gins for seed cotton unloading. Unloading systems supply the gin with raw material. Their essential functions are 1) to remove non-cotton materials such as protective covers used during transport and storage, and large foreign objects such as dirt clods and rocks; 2) to break apart modules, which are compacted for transport and storage, so seed cotton is in small, loose clumps that can more easily be dried and cleaned; 3) to remove green bolls and some soil; and 4) to supply the gin with a steady, controlled flow that can be interrupted if there is a problem. Changes in the way harvested cotton is packaged in the field have resulted in significant changes in unloading systems in recent years. Current recommendations and best practices are presented.