We often get emails and questions about the Cotton Harvest. Here are just a few pictures from this past year’s harvest.
What’s the first step? Well, spindles that actually “pick” the cotton. With the leaves removed, cotton is ready for harvest. Cotton is picked from the “bur” by the spindles of the Cotton Picker. Harvest, four rows at a time. When Cotton Picker is full, a Boll Buggy is used to transport the cotton out of the field.
Boll Buggy “Dumps” into the Module Builder where the cotton is pressed into a large “Module” for storage and transport to the Cotton Gin. Modules in field, waiting for transport to the Cotton Gin.
When the cotton crop has matured in late September, the leaves are removed by use of a chemical defoliant which does not kill the cotton plant but only fools it into shedding its leaves. This process takes about 14 days, then the harvest can actually begin.
A Cotton Picker moves through the field to harvest the cotton. The chrome “spindles” are what actually “picks” the cotton. These spindles have sharp teeth cut into them and they move at high speeds as the machine goes through the field. Each spindle rotates and the cotton fibers become wrapped loosely around each one. The spindles also move horizontally as the machine pass over the cotton plant. This motion is synchronized with the forward ground speed of the machine. This way the plants are not pulled from the ground, they simply pass through the machine as the cotton is removed from the bur of the cotton plant.
When the Cotton Picker is fully loaded it is met in the field by a Boll Buggy pulled by a tractor. The cotton is off loaded into the buggy which then delivers it to the Module Builder which is at the edge of the field. The module builder presses the cotton into a tight module which resembles a very large loaf of bread. It is covered with a plastic cover and here it will wait until it is taken to the Cotton Gin.