Cotton Picker

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Cotton Picker


a machine for harvesting seed cotton from opened cotton bolls. In the USSR series production of cotton pickers began in 1949. Single-row and two-row machines were produced initially; production of four-row machines began in 1968.

Pneumatic, mechanical, and combination pneumatic-mechanical cotton pickers differ in the design of the working elements. Pneumatic pickers gather the cotton by the suction of a stream of air created by a blower. Combination pneumatic-mechanical pickers operate with an airstream and, mechanically, with spindles. Mechanical pickers have cylindrical or conical spindles or four-sided, prismatic, spiked rods as working elements.

In mechanical pickers the horizontal spindles rotate and shift in the direction of their axes as they are directed between the branches of the cotton plants and reel the cotton toward themselves. Such machines are most common in the USA. The rotating vertical spindles shift perpendicular to their axes as they are brought near the cotton plant. They do not penetrate between the branches of the plants, but rather press against them from the side of the inter-row space in which the spindle drum is located. The gathered cotton is removed from the spindles by brushes and is sucked and blown by a fan through a duct to a dumping hopper adapted to unload cotton into bulk carriers.

Table 1. Specifications of cotton pickers
Productivity (ha/hr)  
First harvesting phase ...............1.420.9
Second harvesting phase ...............1.881.2
Harvesting width (m) ...............3.62.4
Tractor used in aggregate ...............MTZ-50KhT-28Kh-4
Operating personnel ...............One driver-operator

Cotton pickers harvest cotton in two phases. The first is when 50–60 percent of the bolls have opened, and the second is when an additional 20–30 percent have opened. The four-row, vertical-spindle KhN-3.6 and 14KhV-2.4A mounted machines produced in the USSR are designed for work with inter-row spaces of 90 cm and 60 cm, respectively, in areas of irrigation cotton farming. They have similar designs and operating principles.


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The late 19th century was an age of inventions, and many entrepreneurs sought to perfect a mechanical cotton harvester.
The cotton harvester completed what the tractor began.
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