Cotton: Preventing Plastic Contamination when Handling Modules

    Line of modules during cotton harvest. ©Debra L Ferguson

    Cotton Incorporated has posted a new report titled “Prevention of Plastic Contamination when Handling Cotton Modules” to its producer-directed Web site, Cotton Cultivated. This document provides growers, module handlers and ginners recommendations on handling round modules from the field to the gin with a goal of eliminating plastic contamination in U.S. cotton.

    The report, compiled by John Wanjura and Mathew Pelletier – USDA-ARS, Jason Ward – N.C. State University, Bobby Hardin – Texas A&M University, and Ed Barnes – Cotton Incorporated, begins by stating that the U.S. cotton industry has a long history of producing contamination-free cotton, and there is a need to preserve that reputation.

    In the last three years, USDA Classing Offices have been finding plastic in samples that likely originated from round module wrap. Therefore, to maintain the reputation of U.S. cotton and prevent significant discounts to the value of a bale, it is crucial that both producers and ginners take steps to prevent contamination.

    “With global cotton stocks building due to impact of COVID on textile demand, we need to continue to give textile mills many reasons to prefer U.S. cotton.  One of the reasons has been our low contamination levels, so keeping plastic out of our cotton bales is more important now than ever,” says Ed Barnes, Senior Director of Agricultural and Environmental Research, Cotton Incorporated.

    With harvest season fast approaching, and having already started in some areas, it is more important than ever for those who handle cotton modules to be knowledgeable about ways to reduce plastic contamination.

    To view the full report, click here.




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