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Maintaining Quality Is Crucial At The Gin

By Tommy Valco
USDA-ARS
Stoneville, Miss.
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Crucial Role For Ginner
Tommy ValcoCotton breeders have continued to develop new cotton varieties with improved quality, and the ginner plays an important role in preserving the quality during ginning, cleaning and baling. To mainain quality, a ginner must monitor and adjust moisture throughout the ginning process, keep equipment properly adjusted and well maintained, and provide only the cleaning needed to meet market demands.

Moisture management is critical to cotton cleaning, handling and fiber quality preservation at the gin. Moisture has an effect on color, leaf and staple. Cotton with too high of a moisture content will not easily separate into single locks but will form wads that may choke and damage gin machinery or entirely stop the ginning process.

Moisture Management
The effort required to measure and control moisture will pay dividends in gin operation efficiency and market value of the cotton. Research has shown that six to seven percent moisture content allows for sufficient cleaning with minimal fiber damage. Managing cotton moisture content during ginning is a difficult task.

Too often, cotton is over dried (below five percent), and additional moisture is needed. Cotton bales should not exceed 7.5 percent moisture content.

Important Maintenance
A good maintenance program minimizes downtime, reduces fiber losses and can improve quality. Gin stands should be kept within a manufacturer’s recommended specifications. Gin saws should be replaced on a timely basis, and doffing systems should be kept in good condition. In summary, evaluate the quality of your gin’s output to make sure you are doing the most for your customer – the mill. Do only the drying and cleaning that are in the producer’s best interest and keep updated on the market needs and aim for those targets.

From Fiber To Fabric

 

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