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Prevent lint contamination

Agriculture.com Staff Updated: 07/09/2010 @ 8:24am

With global competition heating up, it’s in the U.S. cotton producers’ best interest to produce the highest quality product. To do so, the National Cotton Council (NCC) recommends a number of steps to be taken that can assist in preserving cotton’s greatest attributes- its pure, natural quality. Non-cotton impurities such as plastic, nylon, oil and grease can impair producers’ relationships with textile manufacturers, undermine promotional activities and threaten U.S. cotton’s excellent reputation, according to the NCC.

Contaminants can end up in finished yarn and fabric products, resulting in defective fabrics and clothing seconds sold at a fraction of their original value, according to an NCC and USDA press release. Tainted products are costly to textile manufacturers and undermine consumer appeal. Spinners carefully calculate which raw materials they can blend to produce yarns and fabrics that satisfy their customers. There’s no room for contaminated cotton lint in that mix, the NCC says.

Cotton producers are urged to use the following steps to help keep the U.S. cotton product free from foreign material:


- Remove plastic irrigation pipes, irrigation ditch liners and foreign materials from fields before harvest.
- Inspect, repair or discard worn or frayed module covers.
- Use cotton cord or rope, never use plastic twine for securing module tarps.
- Remove module covers and tie-down materials completely before ginning.


Insist on non-contaminating doffer and moistener pads - never use black doffers.


- Follow picker manufacturer's recommendations.
- Service pickers daily. DO NOT OVER-LUBRICATE! Wipe excess grease from fittings and housings.
- Clean picker heads and assemblies at least once a week to remove lubricant build-up. Keep pickers and strippers in good mechanical repair.
- Use only water or picker manufacturer-approved wetting agents in the moistening system.
- Never use motor or diesel oil in moistening systems.
- Replace worn machine parts, such as spindles, moistener pads, doffers, bearings, bushings, springs and rails.
- Adjust spindle/doffer clearance to factory specifications.

To find more information on preventing lint contamination, cotton producers can visit www.cotton.org.

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