Gin Manufacturer's Viewpoint

Don Van Doorn


At the outset I would like to suggest an amendment to the title of our panel discussion today. In my opinion an accurate, reliable instrument quality evaluation system would have very little effect on the cotton textile industry assuming the instruments evaluate only the qualities that have been measured manually over the past many years and reported as a composite group such as the U.S.D.A. "grade" is presently reported. I should point out that my remarks are aimed at improving the overall true spinning quality of the U.S. raw cotton crop, not the selection of cotton from the bales in the warehouses that have already been bred, cultivated, harvested and ginned without benefit of incentives to optimize the spinning qualities. The major problem with the present U.S.D.A. "green card" is not so much that it unreliably or inaccurately reports the qualities it attempts, but rather that it doesn't attempt to report many very significant qualities that are vital to the textile mills and therefore prevents monetary incentives reaching the raw lint cotton producing segment of the cotton industry. If our panel discussion is limited to merely automating with instruments what has traditionally been done manually in cotton classing, then my enthusiasm is diminished dramatically; although H.V.I. (High Volume Instrumentation) as we now know it is perhaps a first necessary step toward what can be an exciting revolution in cotton seed breeding, cultivation, harvesting and ginning to improve cotton fibers for their many end uses in the textile mills.

But, if we can amend our topic to read, "How An Accurate, Reliable and Expanded Instrument Quality Evaluation System Would Change the Cotton Textile Industry", then the prospects for significant advances in quality improvement of raw lint cotton for textile mill processibility and yarn quality become exciting, in my opinion.

What would this expansion of measured quality factors include? With the textile mills calling for finer fibers, we should surely include measurements that differentiate between fine, mature fibers and fibers that indicate similar mike readings because they are immature. Also, we should include accurate measurements of the "cleanability" of cotton, and qualitative trash analysis, not just an estimate of trash quantity in the lint. Seed coat fragments, bark, grass and fine mote fragments are much more troublesome than smooth leaf particles.

Furthermore, all the existing and new fiber quality measurements should be reported separately so each end user can select the properties important to him. We should not have "grade", for instance, reported as a combination of color, trash and preparation.

And last, but certainly not least, we will not have made a major impact on the raw cotton segment of the industry -- that is, all the activities up to the finished bale of cotton -- until these quality measurements are used in the U.S.D.A. classing system that establishes loan values. Only then will the seed breeder, the cotton producer, the harvester and the ginner be provided with incentives to improve the true s pinning fiber qualities needed by the textile mill consumer.

Reprinted from Proceedings: 1989 Beltwide Cotton Production Conference pg. 99
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998