The Spindle-Type Cotton Harvester
Production of high-quality cotton lint begins with variety selection, continues with attention to all production practices, and ends with a well-planned and well-executed harvest. As harvest time nears, critical crop management decisions include scheduling defoliation, defoliating effectively, and timing harvest to get the best lint quality and yield.
Lint quality is best when the cotton bolls first open and dry out. Several factors may cause you to lose yield and quality, such as weathering after boll opening, harvest delays caused by poor defoliation or timing, improper machinery adjustment, inadequate picking capacity, harvesting or storage of seed cotton with a high moisture content, storage management that allows weather to wet or damage modules before ginning, etc.
Spindle pickers are capable of harvesting 95-98% of the cotton produced, but some producers experience field harvest loss approaching 20%.
Cotton budgets suggest harvesting expenses are about 16% of crop production costs in the spindle-picked regions of the U.S.
Three methods of handling picked cotton are available: basket-based (conventional) system, half-module system and round module system.
Cotton pickers are very large, costly, complex machines that create blind spots for an operator. Take these steps before starting or operating any cotton picker.
Spindle-type cotton pickers must be properly prepared prior to harvest to make sure they are capable of minimizing harvest losses.
In-season spindle-type cotton harvester maintenance and fire prevention information is critical to minimize crop loss and picker damage.