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.
The Need for an Expert Operator
Spindle pickers are capable of harvesting 95-98% of the cotton produced, but some producers experience field harvest loss approaching 20%.
Maximizing Harvester Capacity & Productivity
Cotton budgets suggest harvesting expenses are about 16% of crop production costs in the spindle-picked regions of the U.S.
Seed Cotton Handling Systems
Three methods of handling picked cotton are available: basket-based (conventional) system, half-module system and round module system.
Basic Safety Precautions
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.
Appendix: Harvest Loss Calculations
Estimating stalk and ground losses of seed cotton after the picker has passed can help determine what additional adjustments should be made.
Suggested Reading on Cotton Pickers
A list of suggested readings on cotton pickers.