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  1. #1
    Veteran Member dusty3030's Avatar
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    For those that have never seen it. Picker builds and wraps the modules, a long way from pickers dumping it into trailers that people stomped down. That evolved into module builders and now to this. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ShQ6Zdb...%3DShQ6Zdb6-uQ Filmed by a custom harvester who lives near me.
    YOU SHOULD TREAT EVERYONE WITH COURTESY AND RESPECT. BUT HAVE A PLAN FOR KILLING THEM........JUST IN CASE.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Cotton picking these days.

    I well remember the first mechanical picker on our farm. We still went behind it to pick what it missed. We also had two pickings as we didn't have chemicals to make all the boles open, so it took some waiting. I didn't like to pick cotton, but I liked the extra money picking for neighbors.
    Thread on helpful tractor abbreviations: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/o...-acronyms.html

  3. #3
    Veteran Member dusty3030's Avatar
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    Amazing to be picking on six rows AND stalks picked clean in one picking.

    Me and my old Daddy stopped to look at a field last weekend amazed at how clean it is compared to what was left not all that long ago.

    And how the labor is down to near nothing in a cotton harvest.
    YOU SHOULD TREAT EVERYONE WITH COURTESY AND RESPECT. BUT HAVE A PLAN FOR KILLING THEM........JUST IN CASE.

  4. #4
    Elite Member smstonypoint's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cotton picking these days.

    Thanks for posting this link.

    You are too young to remember the days before mechanical cotton pickers became common. My Dad grew a small acreage of cotton as a cash crop in the 1950s. He gave me my first paying job -- picking cotton by hand. I wasn't very proficient, but I earned enough money to buy my first bicycle. I think he may have paid me more than the going piece rate (cents/pound), though. I don't remember how he transported the cotton to the gin or what measures he took to compress the cotton before doing so. It certainly wasn't a module builder. I'm not sure why he gave up cotton production -- low prices, the boll weevil, changes in the government program,...?

    These days there is very little cotton grown in my area and I was not aware of the new baling technology. It makes sense though -- having a picker that can compress the cotton for transportation rather than offloading to a separately-manned module builder.

    Do you have any idea how much the new pickers cost relative to conventional pickers?

    Any idea how many acres Omega farms?

    Again, thanks for posting.

    Steve

  5. #5
    Super Member txdon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cotton picking these days.

    The camera work from the little remote copter is amazing. I really need to get one.
    TXDon

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Cotton picking these days.

    What seemed really ingenious is the way cotton baling in the fields has evolved to using the same bale handling equipment as hay bales. That eliminates a whole family of equipment and doubles the use of existing or common equipment. That's a home run in my book.
    Jim


  7. #7
    Platinum Member Daver1963's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cotton picking these days.

    But safer I'd imagine. Growing up it seems we heard at least once a year, if not more, of a man, woman, or child, that was suffocated because while waiting for the next dump of cotton into the trailer they laid out and took a nap. The operator didn't check and dumped a load of cotton on them.
    I admit, it was fun doing flips and dives off the side of the trailer into that soft fresh picked cotton.
    DaveR

    If a wire wasn't shorted it wouldn't work. What you have is an intermittent open!

    Electronics is smoke and magic. If you let the smoke out of something it doesn't work anymore - the magic is getting the smoke back in.

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  8. #8
    Elite Member smstonypoint's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cotton picking these days.

    This clip reminded me of a scene in The Heat of the Night, one of my favorite movies -- Rod Steiger and Sidney Poitier are driving to the home of a wealthy plantation owner and pass a cotton field that is being picked by hand. Remembering that scene and the accompanying music make me want to order a DVD of the movie.

    I'm sure that the hand-picking was for dramatic effect -- any substantial acreage would have been mechanically harvested at the time the movie was set.

    Steve
    Last edited by smstonypoint; 10-27-2013 at 02:09 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Cotton picking these days.

    For many years, cotton was compacted by a "cotton tromper" who literally tromped the cotton down by foot as it was weighed and dumped by the field boss and picker. This continued quite some time after mechanical pickers to be replaced by a tractor mounted ram that tamped it down. Being a "tromper" seemed like fun at first, but was extremely tiring. Cotton was transported in specialized cotton trailers pulled by tractor or truck depending on the farmer and distance to the gin which there were many.

    At the gin, it was taken out by a hand operated "suck", basically a large vacuum hose, also a very tiring job. Once the cotton was processed with the seeds and dirt removed, it was compressed into bales. These bales were then sent to a "cotton compress" where the bales were "compressed" into even more tightly compacted, heavier bales. It was often stored there whether by the owner or farmer who paid a storage fee and sold when prices were optimum.

    I worked in the heart of cotton country and had access to all the production facilities and watched the change in technology. My first visit to a compress was an eye opener as they were steam operated at the time with open pits and giant rams with no surrounding protection and sometimes the workers would ride the ram down into the pit.

    My last visit to a cotton company was several years ago and was pretty much all automated with only a few workers.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Cotton picking these days.

    My father owned an insurance agency when I was young. He insured many cotton fields and a couple of gins in the rich black lands that are now North Dallas's urban sprawl. In the '50s and even early '60s, cotton was hand picked. As a matter of fact, bolls were either pulled whole or the lint picked out. Of course, picking meant exposing fingers to the sharp edges of the hull. Cotton pickers often had gloves with the finger tips cut off. My father took me into one of his clients fields so I could experience picking. It didn't take 10 minutes for me to decide that was not something I wanted to do. Besides dragging that heavy bag and constantly having sore fingers, you had to keep your eyes peeled for copperheads in the patches. Water Moccasins in the irrigation ditches were also common. Cotton picking and hay hauling were for people who wanted to daily be worked to exhaustion. I remember visiting one cotton gin and it being so noisy I don't know what anyone was saying. I got lucky and learned washing machine repair and did janitorial work while in high school. It was far less physical work for the amount of pay.
    Jim


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