Location: Cotton Ginning ResearchTitle: The classification of cotton
|Delhom, Christopher - Chris|
|KNOWLTON, JAMES - Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS, USDA)|
|MARTIN, VIKKI - Cotton, Inc|
Submitted to: Journal of Cotton Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/15/2020
Publication Date: 12/15/2020
Citation: Delhom, C.D., Knowlton, J., Martin, V.B., Blake, C.D. 2020. The classification of cotton. Journal of Cotton Science. 24:189–196.
Interpretive Summary: Virtually every bale of cotton produced in the United States is subjected to classification by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). The classification of cotton is the process in which official standards and standardized procedures are used to measure the physical attributes of raw cotton. Samples are collected from each bale, either at the gin or warehouse, and sent to one of 10 AMS classing offices. Each bale is assigned a unique permanent bale identification (PBI) number which is matched to the classing sample and results. Automated testing assess fiber length, strength, color, micronaire, and non-lint content. A human classer examines every classing samples to determine if there is any extraneous matter present that would alter the value of the bale. The classification results follow the bale from production through to consumption at the textile mill.
Technical Abstract: Cotton classification is the process of using official standards and standardized procedures to measure the physical attributes of raw cotton. The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) classes essentially all cotton grown in the United States. Samples are collected from each bale at the gin or warehouse for classing at one of 10 AMS classing offices. Automated instrumentation is used to assess fiber length, strength, color, micronaire and non-lint content. Automation has been utilized to allow AMS to continue classing cotton efficiently as the crop size has expanded. A human classer examines every classing sample to determine if there is any extraneous matter present that would alter the value of the bale. The classing results are matched with a permanent bale identification number which is assigned to each bale at the time of sampling. This identification number allows the bale to be identified throughout the supply chain, from packaging of the bale at the gin through consumption on the textile mill floor.