Ultra Narrow Row Cotton Harvest to Textiles

Memphis, TN - February 26, 1998

Executive Summary - Bill Mayfield, USDA-CSREES

This meeting was organized by USDA, Cotton Incorporated, and the National Cotton Council in response to the intense interest in ultra-narrow row cotton.

The purpose of this meeting was to review the limited information available on stripper harvested, Mid-South and Southeastern cottons, and to develop plans to focus research on harvesting, ginning, marketing, and textile utilization. Recent agronomic results, both from research and producer experience, indicate that UNRC may have the potential to improve yields and reduce unit production costs under some conditions. However, very little post-harvest information is available.

Harvesting equipment suppliers indicated that they are devoting some resources to improving and manufacturing finger strippers. Ginners and gin engineers indicated that stripped cotton must be ginned differently from picked cotton. Gins need to be equipped with additional equipment to handle the much larger volume of plant material expected in stripped seed cotton. Without this equipment, gins will reduce their processing rate to allow the machinery to handle the trash. Thus, the cost of ginning should be expected to be higher for stripper harvested cotton.

Merchants and textile manufacturers expressed concerns for fiber quality and textile end-use value of stripper harvested cotton. They indicated that they would consider UNRC similar to traditional West Texas/Oklahoma cotton, and would expect to price it accordingly.

A follow-up meeting of researchers was held on March 26 to coordinate plans for harvesting, ginning, and textile manufacturing research.


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