Maintaining Quality of Stripper Harvested Cotton from Field to Textile Mill
Mar 28, 2019
Since fiber quality cannot be improved after it has been removed from the cotton plant, it is very important that fiber quality be maintained during harvesting and ginning. Recent developments in harvesting and ginning practices have made significant advances that will better preserve fiber quality during these critical steps. One recent development for stripper cotton production involves the use of earlier harvest dates to reduce exposure to inclement weather conditions and to allow for a more favourable harvest period. Although several factors have led to earlier harvest dates, the recent utilization of boll openers and the availability of new defoliants and desiccants that better prepare the cotton plant for stripper harvesting, are the biggest contributors. Additional factors such as modifications of the cotton stripper have reduced foreign matter, in particular stick content, which can have a significant effect on reducing bark content in lint. Modifications of the stripper include changing the combinations of brushes and bats, use of a wider spacing between stripper rolls and between combing pans, and improved adjustment of grid bars in field cleaners. Improved seed cotton drying systems along with new developments in seed cotton cleaning at the cotton gin have significantly enhanced seed cotton cleaning in the gin thus reducing lint-cleaning requirements. New lint cleaning equipment and procedures have minimized the amount of cleaning required while maintaining fiber cleanliness and quality. These improvements in harvesting and ginning technologies are critical elements in maintaining the quality of stripper cotton as it moves from the cotton field to the textile mill.