|VAN DER SLUIJS, RENE - Csiro European Laboratory|
Submitted to: Journal of Cotton Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/5/2016
Publication Date: 4/12/2017
Citation: Van Der Sluijs, R., Holt, G.A. 2017. Survey results of the research needs and requirements of the ginning industries in Australia and the United States. Journal of Cotton Science. 21:40-50.
Interpretive Summary: This paper reports on a survey initially taken of the United States (U.S.) cotton ginning industry and then the same questions were asked of the Australian cotton ginning industry a year later. The questions were asked to help focus industry research efforts on areas deemed most important by cotton ginnners. The questions asked were: 1) In your estimation, what are the top three research needs of the ginning industry? 2) What are the top three research needs of your gin? 3) In your opinion, what is the biggest improvement needed in modern day ginning? 4) What is the biggest improvement needed in harvesting cotton? The results revealed numerous similarities between the U.S. and Australian ginners in large part due to both countries being highly automated in both harvesting and ginning sectors of the cotton industry. Some differences were noted. One area of concern in the U.S. but not Australia was in the area of harvesting with on-board module harvesters. The Australians are almost completely harvesting their crop with on-board harvesters whereas the U.S. has not changed over to using these on-baord harvesters to the same degree of adoption as Australia. Consequently, the U.S. ginners expressed concerns over handling and processing round modules wrapped in plastic while the Australian ginners did not have the same concerns. Overall, the concerns of automation, labor, moisture, fiber quality, utilization of cotton byproducts/waste and plastic contamination where similar.
Technical Abstract: A survey of four questions were sent to members of cotton ginning associations in Australia and the United States to determine what issues and problems needed to be addressed and where the research institutions should focus their time, money, and energy. Responses to each question were similar between the two countries as both have highly mechanized approaches to production, harvesting and ginning. Thus issues associated with automation, labor, moisture, fiber quality, utilization of cotton byproducts/waste and plastic contamination were raised. Responses that differed between the two countries were related to issues associated with the adoption or lack of adoption of certain technologies. The prime example is the adoption of the new on-board module building harvester, which the Australian industry has, in a relatively short period, adapted into its production and ginning systems. In contrast, the U.S. industry is only just starting to scale-up adoption of this technology and as such is experiencing the challenges that come with the take-up of a new technology. Consequently, U.S. gins rated the handling of the plastic wrap used by the on-board module harvester of greater importance than the Australian industry, which has had more experience with this issue. Overall, the survey should assist in focusing and coordinating the research efforts of both countries in addressing R&D priorities for their respective industries.