• Seed cotton storage and handling

    Chapter 2 - Cotton value addition - Impact of varieties and production practices 


    Adequate storage facilities for seed cotton on the farm or at the gin are essential so that the cotton may be harvested quickly before weathering reduces its quality. Seed cotton may be stored in piles on the ground, or in sheds, storage houses, trailers or modules so long as it is protected from weather damage and from excessive ground moisture. Cotton modules (see figure 2.3), predominantly used in the United States, Australia, Israel and Brazil, are a freestanding stack of cotton produced by dumping harvested material into a form known as a module builder (see figure 2.4). When seed cotton is consolidated for storage, it should be in a covered storage area or covered with a high-quality tarpaulin.


    Moisture content, length of storage, amount of high-moisture foreign matter, variation in moisture content throughout the stored mass, initial temperature of the seed cotton, temperature of the seed cotton during storage, weather factors during storage (temperature, relative humidity, rainfall), and protection of the seed cotton from rain and wet ground all affect seed and fibre quality during seed cotton storage. For long storage periods, moisture should be below 12%.



    Figure 2.3: Typical free-standing modules of seed cotton



    Figure 2.4: Spindle picker dumping into a module builder

    Seed cotton moisture content during storage is the most important variable affecting seed germination and oil quality. Seed cotton moisture content should not exceed 10% for storage when the seed will be saved for planting. Oil quality can be preserved at 12% moisture content during storage. 

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    Cotton Exporter's Guide

    Brochure - African cotton promotion
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