Cotton 101: Getting Cotton to the Gin

Farmers have several choices on how to compact their crop (full size modules, smaller modules or round modules). All of them are made so cotton, once picked, can be temporarily stored and transported to the gin.

Those modules are tagged in the field to identify what farm & field it came from. You frequently see them tagged with a special kind of spray paint but there are also physical paper tags placed on the module that begin identifying that cotton.

module marked to go to the gin module tagged for the gin

Module weights vary widely based on the equipment producing them.

  • The round modules from the on-board baling module picker by John Deere weigh from 4,500 to 5,000 pounds.
  • Modules from the on-board moduling picker by CaseIH (small rectangular modules) are 4,000 to 12,000 pounds. (They are 16 foot long.)
  • The full size modules are 32 foot long and can be twice as big as the case on-board.

But all modules are transported by the same style truck which looks incredibly light empty as the cargo cover is relatively lightweight as it transports relatively short distances and only needs protect against wind and rain.

module truckThere is a creeping floor on the truck and its bed tilts to make loading and unloading easy.

A cotton gin can process a variety of modules, and you can see various sorts on most. They are typically lined up & organized by the same inventory tagging placed on them in the field. With all the module covers and wrapping to protect them from rain, a gin yard gets to be a really colorful place.

I had someone ask me why gins rush to get the modules in the yard, because they obviously get more in than they can keep up with. Well my thoughts are there are a couple of reasons. First, they need to have enough there to keep the gin running 24/7 for the season. And another is in this part of the world, you never know when the weather will change and make it harder to get in and out of some fields. Next up in the series — ginning!

John Deere modules at the gin

gin yard with modulesThis is another one of the posts in the cotton 101 series running on the blog. The others include:

About Janice Person

I'm Janice & this blog is about my passions -- photography, travel, agriculture & whatever else comes to mind. Putting all those things together is intriguing to me…. I can spend a lot of time soaking it up! It's almost always a colorful adventure!

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7 Responses to Cotton 101: Getting Cotton to the Gin

  1. Ryan Goodman October 25, 2010 at 8:44 pm #

    Loved it. Now when I make the drive to Dumas, I’ll know that those things are called modules instead of bales! I’m learning more with each new post!

    • Janice October 25, 2010 at 9:04 pm #

      :) I’m looking forward to your cattle series too!

  2. Jeana Kauffman June 13, 2011 at 3:43 am #

    Janice-look forward to seeing you again this year at Dumas and Lorenzo! “Jeana’s Feedbag Catering”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Taking a Module to the Adobe Walls Gin — Friend’s Photo by Anna-Lisa Giannini | ag – a colorful adventure - December 7, 2010

    […] my Cotton 101 series, I wrote a blog post about getting modules from the field to the gin. I love seeing them so I was thrilled when […]

  2. Cotton 101: What does a cotton plant or field look like? « ag – a colorful adventure - March 31, 2011

    […] harvest equipment leaves the crop in the field til module trucks come to transport the seed cotton to the gin for processing. Farmers also want to cut all the stalks down near the ground & shred them to […]

  3. Quora - December 16, 2011

    How is cotton picked nowadays?…

    There are a few ways that cotton is currently harvested. In the US the two predominant ways to harvest cotton on farms is either using 1) mechanical cotton pickers or 2) using a mechanical cotton stripper. A cotton picker pulling the lint from the plan…

  4. How is cotton picked nowadays? | a colorful adventure - December 16, 2011

    […] shows you what I mean by moduling that’s needed with pickers that do not have the on-board moduling system and shows how those modules are transported. […]

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