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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Understanding of the U.S. Cotton Quality

Author
item Cui, Xiaoliang

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: October 10, 2008
Publication Date: October 30, 2008
Citation: Cui, X. 2008. Understanding of the U.S. Cotton Quality. Meeting Proceedings.

Interpretive Summary: One of the major advantages of the U.S. cotton is that it contains much less contamination than the hand-picked cotton. U.S. cotton also has higher uniformity within a bale. These features are resulted from the features of the U.S. cotton production. The U.S. cotton farms are large. The average cotton farm is 1199 acres (2003 data), that is equivalent to 7278 Chinese Mu. The cotton production in the U.S. is highly automated from planting, irrigation, harvesting, to ginning. The automation reduced the chances of contamination by human and animals (horses for example). In the U.S., cotton farmers, not ginners, own cotton (before and after ginning). A ginner gins cotton by module for a farmer one at a time. The cotton quality in a bale is relatively uniform (from same farmer, same piece of farmland, same variety, and same module). In China, cotton growers sell seedcotton to ginners, who pile the seedcotton according to the 7 grades. Chinese cotton farms are relatively small, and many varieties are grown in a county. In addition, a cotton farmer may sell his seedcotton to a gin in another region to get better price.Therefore, a Chinese bale may have cotton of several varieties. Another important advantage of the U.S. cotton is that virtually every bale of U.S. cotton is classed by USDA, and the quality of the bale is impartially and accurately measured. The classing data can be obtained from merchants or directly from USDA. U.S. cotton crop has been classed by use of HVI instrument since 1991. Many Chinese textile mills use American cotton, but many of them have not used HVI classing results yet. Understanding the U.S. classing parameters and their relationships with Chinese classing parameters helps Chinese cotton buyers and users to better utilize U.S. cotton. The U.S. cotton classing system is briefly summarized. The cotton classing parameters including length, length uniformity, strength, micronaire, color grade, color Rd and +b, leaf grade, prep, and extraneous materials are explained. These parameters are compared with similar parameters that the Chinese classing system uses, and some relationships among them are established.

Technical Abstract: One of the major advantages of the U.S. cotton is that it contains much less contamination than the hand-picked cotton. U.S. cotton also has higher uniformity within a bale. These features are resulted from the features of the U.S. cotton production. The U.S. cotton farms are large. The average cotton farm is 1199 acres (2003 data), that is equivalent to 7278 Chinese Mu. The cotton production in the U.S. is highly automated from planting, irrigation, harvesting, to ginning. The automation reduced the chances of contamination by human and animals (horses for example). In the U.S., cotton farmers, not ginners, own cotton (before and after ginning). A ginner gins cotton by module for a farmer one at a time. The cotton quality in a bale is relatively uniform (from same farmer, same piece of farmland, same variety, and same module). In China, cotton growers sell seedcotton to ginners, who pile the seedcotton according to the 7 grades. Chinese cotton farms are relatively small, and many varieties are grown in a county. In addition, a cotton farmer may sell his seedcotton to a gin in another region to get better price. Therefore, a Chinese bale may have cotton of several varieties. Another important advantage of the U.S. cotton is that virtually every bale of U.S. cotton is classed by USDA, and the quality of the bale is impartially and accurately measured. The classing data can be obtained from merchants or directly from USDA. U.S. cotton crop has been classed by use of HVI instrument since 1991. Many Chinese textile mills use American cotton, but many of them have not used HVI classing results yet. Understanding the U.S. classing parameters and their relationships with Chinese classing parameters helps Chinese cotton buyers and users to better utilize U.S. cotton. The U.S. cotton classing system is briefly summarized. The cotton classing parameters including length, length uniformity, strength, micronaire, color grade, color Rd and +b, leaf grade, prep, and extraneous materials are explained. These parameters are compared with similar parameters that the Chinese classing system uses, and some relationships among them are established.

Last Modified: 9/22/2014
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