Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/18/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Ginners are unable to package bales of cotton at appropriate moisture contents because they do not have inexpensive, reliable methods to predict the moisture of baled cotton. Studies were conducted to develop the mathematical relationships between cotton moisture, compressive force and other parameters. The relationships were then combined into a single dial face that is placed on a standard hydraulic gauge. The ginner can then read the predicted moisture from the new dial face after the bale is compressed. Results will enable ginners to package bales at higher moisture levels and increase farmer profits by $7 to $14 per bale.
Technical Abstract: Automated and manual methods to quickly and inexpensively estimate the moisture content of universal density cotton bales were developed. As a basis for the new methods, mathematical relationships describing the force required to compress cotton were developed to focus on moisture content. Implementation of these relationships requires values for press volume and pressure at the end of the compression cycle as well as cylinder diameter and bale weight. The automated method is computer-based whereas the manual method is based on retrofitting a traditional hydraulic pressure gauge with a specially configured dial face. Bale moisture is estimated within 0.5%. The devices provide inexpensive methods to estimate the moisture content of cotton bales.