Harvest Management

Download Cotton Picker Management Guide (PDF, 174KB)

With good crop and machinery management, favorable weather conditions, and good ginning practices, most cotton from the first picking should grade very good—strict low middling or better. Under these favorable conditions, a spindle-type cotton picker should put 95 percent or more of the open cotton into the basket in good condition. However, this is not always the case.

Total value of the crop can be affected by picker management. The difference between expert and average-to-poor picker management can mean as much as $900 per day for a two-row machine.

Through proper cotton picker management and efficient harvesting practices, cotton producers can consistently keep their field losses below 5 percent. Often, losses as high as 20 percent are tolerated, and 10 percent losses are considered normal. There is no better way to increase net profits at harvest time than to reduce these harvest
losses.