Effect of harvesting methods on fiber and yarn quality from irrigated cotton on the high plains Conference Paper uri icon


  • Over a fourth of the cotton bales produced in the United States since 2002 have been produced in Texas with most of that cotton coming from the High Plains region, and in recent years, Texas cotton production has represented almost half of all the US cotton production. Due to the harsh weather conditions, most cotton on the High Plains is of more storm-proof varieties that are harvested using stripper harvesters. Unlike picker harvesters, which use spindles to remove seed cotton from the boll, stripper harvesters use brushes and bats that indiscriminately remove seed cotton, bolls, leaves, and branches from the plant. As a result, stripper harvested cotton contains more foreign matter than picked cotton and generally contains more immature fibers that are left on the plant by spindle harvesters. Stripper harvesters have several advantages over picker harvesters, including lower purchase prices, fewer moving parts leading to lower fuel and maintenance requirements, and greater efficiency in low yielding cotton. Picker harvesters, however, pick cleaner cotton, are perceived to maintain fiber quality better than strippers, and are able to harvest at higher speeds in high yielding stands. As irrigation technology has improved and new varieties have been introduced on the High Plains, yields in the region have dramatically increased, sometimes reaching four bales/acre. Furthermore, foreign textile mills continue to raise their standards for fiber quality as cotton spinners are forced to compete with synthetic fibers. These increased yields and higher quality demands have the potential to make harvesting High Plains cotton with pickers an attractive option. The objective of this research is to compare fiber and yarn quality from four varieties of cotton harvested on the High Plains using modern picker and stripper harvesters.

published proceedings

  • American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting 2008, ASABE 2008

author list (cited authors)

  • Faulkner, W. B., Wanjura, J. D., Shaw, B. W., & Hequet, E. F.

complete list of authors

  • Faulkner, WB||Wanjura, JD||Shaw, BW||Hequet, EF

publication date

  • January 2008