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LOGO: Journal of Cotton Science



Authors: John D. Wanjura, Kevin Baker, and Edward Barnes
Pages: 70-80
Engineering and Ginning

The spindle picker and brush-roll stripper are the two machines used to harvest cotton produced in the U.S. Adoption of each harvester type is dictated by regional differences in production environment, production practices, cultivar, and yield. The spindle picker is a selective-type harvester that harvests seed cotton only from well-opened bolls, collecting a minimal amount of undesirable foreign material with the seed cotton. The brush-roll stripper utilizes a nonselective harvesting mechanism to indiscriminately remove mature seed cotton, immature bolls, sticks, leaves, and any other vegetative material that is easily broken off the plant. Thus, fiber quality can be reduced for stripper-harvested cotton because of the increased presence of immature fibers relative to picker-harvested cotton. Spindle pickers are more mechanically complex than brush-roll strippers and require additional daily maintenance to ensure optimum performance. Considering conventional harvesters equipped with baskets, stripper-type harvesters cost less to own and operate than spindle pickers resulting in lower harvesting costs. Regardless of harvester type, careful attention to setup and maintenance is required to achieve maximum harvesting efficiency, field productivity, and fiber quality.