Project Summaries

12-431  Project Manager: E. M. Barnes


Richard Byler, USDA-ARS

Proper measurement of bale moisture content (mc) is crucial to proper management of a cotton gin. It is important to avoid producing wet cotton, unacceptable for Commodity Credit Corporation Marketing Assistance Loan Program, which is defined to be a bale of cotton which is at or above 7.5% wet basis (8.1% dry basis) anywhere in the bale. Several meters are available from different manufacturers for the measurement of cotton mc. Data were collected with three of these meters at a commercial gin which had lint moisture restoration capability, and samples of lint taken from the same bales which were tested by the standard cotton mc measurement, the oven method. The data included measurements by each meter plus the reference mc for 731 bales. The Delmhorst bale moisture probe, corrected for bale temperature as documented in the manual, was the most accurate of the three meters studied with no further corrections. When moisture was restored to bales, the mc averaged 1.1 percentage points higher in the bale than in the lint flue. After a simple correction to the readings, the Sam Jackson Tex-Max was the most accurate. The Uster Intelligin moisture meter was found to be accurate, but measured the mc of lint before final moisture restoration and was not helpful in improving the bale mc measurement. After further analysis, it was found that a linear offset based on the temperature of the bale further improved the accuracy of the Tex-Max meter.


Project Year: 2012

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