Project Summaries

08-388  Project Manager: E. M. Barnes


John D. Wanjura, USDA-ARS; and Wes Porter, Oklahoma State University

The overall objective of this research is to identify improved harvesting methods that help to maintain fiber quality, decrease seed cotton and lint foreign matter content, and improve producer profitability. Two sub-projects were executed to help accomplish the main goal and a summary of the work on each is provided below.

In cooperation with researchers from Oklahoma State University, the second year of a two year study was conducted to quantify the effects that the harvesting, conveying, and cleaning systems used on a cotton stripper have on foreign matter content and fiber quality. Seed cotton samples were collected from various points on the harvester to isolate the influence of the harvesting units, cross auger conveyor, main cotton air duct, and field cleaner. The data indicate that the harvesting units and the field cleaner remove more foreign material from the harvested seed cotton than any of the conveying systems on the stripper. HVI and AFIS fiber analysis results showed minimal influence from any of the harvesting and conveying systems on fiber length characteristics and the formation and size of neps. Our findings indicate that future design efforts should focus on improving the cleaning efficiency of systems used to convey the cotton from the harvesting units to the field cleaner while maintaining the ability to preserve fiber quality. To this end, a new open-belt conveyor design was constructed and briefly tested as an alternative to the cross auger conveyor. Analysis of these results is ongoing and additional development work is needed.

Today, the majority of the value produced by a cotton crop is contained in the lint and seed. The biomass produced by cotton that is not harvested and taken to the gin may be of additional value to producers in the future as our society continues to look for alternative renewable energy sources. A project was conducted to document the amount of total biomass available at the time of machine harvest for several modern cotton cultivars grown under various irrigation levels in the Southern High Plains Region. Samples were collected to quantify the portions of total crop biomass that was removed from the field during machine harvest and that which remained in the field after machine harvest. Results indicate that the portion of total crop biomass remaining in the field varies by irrigation level and harvest method and ranged from 41 to 65%. Location average harvest index ranged from 0.40 to 0.47 which is in line with previously published data. Biomass samples were submitted for energy and nutrient content analyses and this data will be included in forthcoming reports.


Project Year: 2012

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