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Impact of Moisture on Baled Cotton

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  031167,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.13982) @2003
Authors:   W. Stanley Anthony
Keywords:   Cotton, Moisture, Color, Degradation, Water, Density, Bales

The purpose of this research was to determine if moisture applied before packaging caused fiber degradation during subsequent storage. Fiber quality characteristics of universal density cotton bales were determined before and after extended storage (months) in three separate studies. For the test bales, water was sprayed over the top of the fiber as it came down the lint slide after ginning and cleaning. The bales were then packaged at universal density and placed in either tripled polyethylene bags, woven polypropylene bags, or fully coated woven polypropylene bags, and then stored at atmospheric conditions. Initial moisture content after the water was added ranged from less than 5% to over 15%. The bales changed weight and moisture substantially during storage depending on the type of bale covering and the initial moisture content. Most fiber quality characteristics except color remained about the same. The HVI color decreased from Middling (31) before storage to as low as Strict Low Middling Spotted (43) after storage depending on moisture content. Other HVI data changed slightly during storage regardless of the moisture level. The higher initial moisture contents resulted in greater degradation in color. Cotton bales should not be stored at moisture contents above 7.5%, wet basis, regardless of bale covering materials.

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