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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Cotton Ginning Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #349017

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: Current university and USDA lab cotton contamination research

item Whitelock, Derek
item Pelletier, Mathew
item THOMASSON, ALEX - Texas A&M Agricultural Experiment Station
item BUSER, MICHAEL - Oklahoma State University
item XU, BUGAO - University Of North Texas
item Delhom, Christopher
item Hardin Iv, Robert

Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/31/2018
Publication Date: 5/31/2018
Citation: Whitelock, D.P., Pelletier, M.G., Thomasson, A., Buser, M., Xu, B., Delhom, C.D., Hardin Iv, R.G. 2018. Current university and USDA lab cotton contamination research. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. p. 516-520. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: U.S. cotton is considered to have some of the lowest levels of contamination in the world. However, that reputation is in jeopardy as complaints of contamination from domestic and foreign mills are on the rise. Cotton contamination can be classified under four major categorizes: fabrics and strings from plastics and natural fibers, oils and chemicals, organic matter, and inorganic matter. Of particular concern are plastic contaminants – plastic trash that collects in cotton fields, black plastic film used as mulch in fields, plastic twine typically used for hay baling, and yellow plastic film used for round module wrap. Currently, there are major collaborative research efforts at the USDA ginning laboratories in Lubbock, Mesilla Park, and Stoneville, the USDA cotton quality lab in New Orleans, and at Texas A&M, Oklahoma State University, and the University of North Texas. The efforts target different points in the cotton production scheme from the field, to the harvester, to the module, and to the gin and focus on detection using imaging/optical characteristics and separation using physical/electrostatic characteristics. This presentation summarizes the various projects and highlights the collaborative efforts of the scientists involved.