Handling and Storage of Seed Cotton

Seed cotton has been transported from the harvesters in the field to the gin with trailers designed for this purpose. The rate at which cotton can be harvested with present-day pickers and strippers is much faster than the rate at which it can be ginned practically and economically. Harvesting should be permitted to continue at an uninterrupted pace to prevent losses due to weathering in the field. The purchase and use of more trailers to accumulate the cotton increases the cost of handling and storage, since the trailers will be making fewer trips to the gin.

 Alternate systems have been developed to handle and store the seed cotton in the field or in central storage areas that will receive the cotton at the high harvesting rates and dispense it to the gin at uniform rates. A mechanical ricker receives the seed cotton from the harvester and forms a long stack in the field. The cotton is loaded into conventional cotton trailers with a front-end loader or lift-truck and transported to the gin.

 Another method of handling and storage of seed cotton is referred to as the modular system. The module builder receives the cotton directly from the harvester and compresses the cotton into high-density stack on a pallet. After the stack or module is formed, the tailgate is opened and the machine is moved to the next pallet. The cotton may be stored in the field or transported with a tilting bed trailer to the gin or central storage area. Since the seed cotton is in a uniform shape and lends itself to mechanization, a mechanical feeder has been developed to feed the cotton into the gin with less labor and power requirements than with conventional pneumatic system.