Keep Your Cotton Clean
By: Brent Murphree
The Cotton Research and Promotion Program and the National Cotton Council are working hard to make sure the American cotton crop is contamination free. Both organizations have made it clear that in order to keep our reputation pure in the world market, growers need to be proactive in their approach to keep their crop clear of plastic contaminants.
With the advent of the round cotton module, once the cotton enters the picker, the harvest process is a closed system with limited opportunities to detect and remove contaminants until the cotton is delivered at the mill. Therefore it is imperative that producers and harvesters are mindful of all possibilities of contamination, including: irrigation tarps, grocery bags, baling twine, film used in vegetable production and so forth.
In the ginning process, plastic may enter the system as round module wrap is removed and the bale enters the module feeder. Making sure that the plastic is intact and that the cuts are clean are necessary to ensure a contamination-free ginning process. Operators need to be observant, stopping the equipment if extractionof foreign material is necessary.
A recent article in Cotton Farming Magazine highlights the impacts plastic contamination can have in manufacturing operations and how to keep your crop contamination free.
And, the National Cotton Council's Web site has a list of potential contaminants and information detailing the affects contamination can have on U.S. cotton's reputation.