Submitted to: Bremen International Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/28/2020
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The removal of plastic contamination in cotton lint is an issue of top priority to the U.S. cotton industry. One of the main sources of plastic contamination showing up at the classing office is the module wrap from the John Deere round module harvesters. Despite diligent efforts by cotton ginning personnel to remove all plastic encountered during unwrapping of the seed cotton modules, plastic still finds a way into the seed cotton fed into the ginning system. To help mitigate plastic contamination at the gin, two systems have been developed; a passive system using cameras to see plastic on the module feeder dispersing cylinders and an active system, which detects and ejects plastic from the seed cotton. The first system monitors the dispersing cylinders in the module feeder and alerts gin management of plastic detected on the cylinders by time stamping a picture, displayed on a screen in the control room, and starting a timer that continues until the cylinders are free of plastic. The second system utilizes cameras on the feeder apron above the gin stand to detect plastic and air knives at the bottom of the feeder apron to eject the plastic, out of the seed cotton, onto the floor in front of the gin stand. Both of these systems were developed and evaluated at the USDA-ARS cotton gin laboratory and field tested in two commercial cotton gins for the 2018-2019 U.S. ginning season. Based on the success of the initial testing and field trials, the technology will be Beta tested at four commercial cotton gins for the 2019-2020 season as well as continued lab testing at the USDA-ARS gin lab in Lubbock, Texas. Most of the Beta sites will use both technologies in conjunction with each other; two of the Beta sites will install the active detection and ejection system on all their gin stands with the other two sites installing the active system on a single gin stand. Results of the gin lab testing and field evaluations are to be presented.