Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/7/2017
Publication Date: 5/20/2017
Citation: Wanjura, J.D., Barnes, E.M., Pelletier, M.G., Holt, G.A. 2017. New technologies for managing cotton modules. 2017 Beltwide Cotton Conferences, Cotton Ginning Conference: http://www.cotton.org/beltwide/proceedings/2005-2020/index.htm.
Interpretive Summary: The introduction of RFID technology to identify cotton modules has opened up new possibilities in regard to the management of cotton modules prior to ginning. RFID technology has found extended use in other industries for inventory management but is completely new to the post-harvest processing industry for cotton. Thus, few tools are available to help producers and ginners glean value from the ability to identify cotton modules using RFID technology. This work was conducted to develop an open-source tool to gather basic identification and position information for cotton modules and transmit this data to a cotton gin for use in managing module trucks and module yard inventories. The mobile application achieves this objective through the use of two scanning tools: the Load Scanning Tool and the Scan in Field tool. The Load Scan tool automates the process of associating module serial numbers to a gin load number for record keeping purposes. The Scan in Field tool allows for the quick generation of inventory lists of modules from a particular field or as they sit on a module yard. Additional development of this application is planned to expand its use for automated collection of staging location information on the tractor used to stage modules for transport, and also on module transport vehicles in the process of loading and unloading modules in the field and at the gin.
Technical Abstract: New cotton harvesters with the ability to form seed cotton modules have changed the way that cotton is stored and handled before ginning. Cylindrical or “round” modules formed by John Deere cotton pickers and strippers are wrapped in three layers of plastic material to protect the cotton and maintain the cylindrical module shape during storage. The wrap material on each cylindrical module contains several radio frequency identification (RFID) tags that contain a module identification number unique to that module. The module serial number can be read from the RFID tag using electronic scanning tools and used to help growers and ginners manage modules and associated information gathered during the harvesting, storage, transportation, and ginning processes. However, to date, no commercial systems have been developed to facilitate the collection of module ID or position information using RFID technology. Therefore, the objective of this work is to develop a mobile application for use in collecting cotton module location and identification information using RFID and/or 1D/2D barcode technology. This system provides basic functionality to help ginners and producers identify ways to glean additional value from the new ability to manage modules using RFID technology.