GINNING AND PROCESSING RESEARCH TO ENHANCE QUALITY, PROFITABILITY, AND TEXTILE UTILITY OF WESTERN COTTONS
Location: Cotton Ginning Research
Title: BELTWIDE GIN SAMPLING - FIRST SEASON
Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 31, 2007
Publication Date: February 1, 2007
Citation: Whitelock, D.P., Buser, M.D., Armijo, C.B., Holt, G.A., Boykin Jr, J.C., Valco, T.D., Findley, D.S., Barnes, E.M., Watson, M.D. 2007. Beltwide gin sampling - first season. In: Proceedings of the Beltwide Cotton Conferences, January 9-12, 2007, New Orleans, Louisiana. 2007 CDROM p. 1930-1935.
Interpretive Summary: There has been more concern recently about the amount of shorter fibers and fiber entanglements in US cotton. Also, there has been discussion to discount US cotton in international cotton markets that has foreign matter levels not normally discounted on the US loan chart. It is well documented that the typical fiber cleaning machines at a cotton gin, while excellent at removing foreign material, reduce fiber length, and increase the amount of short fibers and fiber entanglements. Recently a group of researchers from Cotton Incorporated, the USDA-ARS Cotton Ginning Labs, and Texas A&M University developed the “dream” to clean fiber and maintain fiber quality as well as or better than current technology, and reduce fiber entanglements and the amount of short fibers. To that goal, a two year, belt-wide commercial cotton gin sampling project was initiated in 2005 for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 ginning seasons to confirm and establish, with the fiber quality measurement techniques used today, some basic knowledge about the changes in upland cotton quality throughout the ginning process and the ginning season. Preliminary analysis of the first year data showed that the cleaning machines were adequately removing foreign matter and that the amount of short fibers doubled and the number of fiber entanglements tripled at the gin stand, much more than for any other machine. This preliminary work will help to focus future research on gin machinery to improve cotton fiber quality. Work towards the “dream” will enhance the competitiveness of US cotton in international markets.
A two year, belt-wide commercial cotton gin sampling project was initiated in 2005 for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 ginning seasons to assess the changes in upland cotton quality throughout the ginning process and the ginning season. This report discusses preliminary analysis of the first year data. In order to compare fiber quality of seed-cotton samples ginned on a small-scale ten-saw laboratory gin with ginned lint samplers from a commercial gin, hand ginning/lab ginning relationships were developed and used to correct the fiber quality data for lab ginned seed-cotton samples back to near pre-ginning values. Trash content analyses showed that cleaning machines were on average reducing foreign matter content per lint basis from as high as 50% to about 4% from the module to the lint slide. Short fiber content (SFC) values after ginning were double those at the feeder and were increased at a lesser rate by the 1st lint cleaning. Nep counts were nearly tripled by the gin stand, then increased steadily as the lint passed through the first and second stage of lint cleaning, but the increases associated with the lint cleaners was much less than that at the gin stand. More in-depth data analyses will continue after the 2nd year data are complete. This future work will focus on within ginning process changes, changes as the ginning season progressed, and interactions among fiber properties (i.e. SFC and micronaire or neps and length) and effects of cleaning.