Monday, September 27, 2010

Cotton Pickin' Videos

It's that time of year again! Since it rained over the weekend, I've had some time to upload the videos I made in the field last week! We recently got fast internet, so I've never been able to upload videos before! I've always posted pictures of the cotton picking process, but that one shot is all you get to see. I try to explain it the best I can, but I thought I would actually show you the process this time!

So I won't have to repeat myself too much, heres a couple of links to those of you who might have missed my cotton tutorials last year. They explain what's going on in these videos!
I'll give you the short version with the videos.

The cotton picker in action...
The cotton picker basically grabs the cotton off the plant and sucks it into the basket.

Looking down into the cotton picker heads from the cab...
The picker can hold about 3-4 bales of cotton. 1 bale weighs about 500 lbs.

Dumping the full basket of cotton into the module builder...
The pickers pull up to the side of the builder, and the baskets tilt in order to chain the cotton off.

Chaining the cotton off into the builder...
This is a shot from on top of the module builder. The builder can hold around 4-5 picker baskets of cotton. That is about 15 bales of cotton.

Packing the cotton (my job)...
After the cotton is dumped, I use levers to work this tramper to spread the cotton out and pack it tightly.

Packing it some more...
After each dump, I try to make it look like this. It's easy for the first 3 dumps, but when they dump the 4th or 5th time, it gets pretty full and sometimes spills over the side.

Tarping the cotton module...
When the module is finished, a tractor pulls the builder forward and we attach a tarp to the back gate of the builder. When the builder moves forward, it pulls the tarp on top of the module.

Finishing tarping the module...
When the builder gets pulled off the module, someone has to quickly shut the back gate so the tarp won't rip, and we can pull the tarp down and tighten it to protect the cotton.

Module truck picking up cotton module...
I don't know exactly what happened to the rest of this video, but I hope you get the idea. The module truck bed tilts and then backs under the module and chains pull the module into the truck.

Module truck ready to take module to the gin...
Tada! (More missing video, lol) Ready to go to the gin. I'll be visiting there sometime this pickin' season to show yall how that works!

Sorry about the bad quality of some of the video, but hey, I was working, and there was dust and cotton flying everywhere! Hope y'all learned something


  1. This took some time! Thanks for the education. Cotton picking has sure changed!

  2. Thanks for the videos. I actually got to run a modulator a few years ago when we stopped alongside a field being harvested. I asked some questions of the farmer and he told me to get up and sit in the seat and run it. I love seeing how other crops are grown & harvested. Around here it's pretty much corn & soybeans.

  3. steph, what a great job you did educating us! i love what you did and love how you are teaching us. why are some blooms pink and some white? and i guess the machine that sucks up the plants somehow separates the cotton from the plant material?

  4. The cotton plant just produces white/pink/purple flowers randomly. To sum it up, turning spindles grab the cotton off the plant, doffers knock the cotton off the spindles, and then the cotton is blown into the basket.

  5. Hi! I popped over here from Janet's blog! Love yours! :)

  6. These are so neat! I am doing cotton tutorials this year. I called them "Cotton Elementary." I never even thought that other wives would have done the same thing!

  7. This was totally way to cool. Up here in Oregon we have never seen (or I should say "I"), something like this. Adding video greatly enhances the explanation of things. I look forward to more lessons.