When Should You Start Picking Your Cotton?

If you are knew to the world of cotton picking, or are just looking to maximize your efficiency and get the best yield possible, then there is one crucial question you ought to be asking: When in the season, and on a day-to-day basis, should I start picking my cotton crop?

As any experienced cotton picker knows, the answer to this question often hinges on the balance between getting the most cotton possible without needing to stop to clean or care for your equipment. To that end, here are a few tips on when to start picking cotton, from your cotton picker parts specialist.

Seeing green

One crucial factor to consider when picking cotton is the amount of green leaves you see on your cotton stalks. While green leaves signify a fresh crop, they can also add a good amount of moisture to your cotton crop. This might sound like a positive thing to an outsider, but cotton growers know that moisture can clog up your cotton picking equipment, necessitating more breaks from picking and slowing down the entire process.

However, waiting for the green leaves to disappear completely is not an option, as this will result in a lower crop yield. Experts tend to agree that picking cotton once somewhere between 85 and 90 percent of the field is open makes for the highest yield and the most efficient picking process. By keeping an eye on your cotton fields every day, you should be able to determine this best picking time for you and your plants.

Measuring humidity

Another major factor to be considered when picking cotton is humidity in the air. For many crops, farmers try to get up as early as possible and start picking, so that they can be done before the harsh heat sets in for the day.

But with cotton, picking too early in the morning might not be ideal, because humidity levels are often at their highest in the morning. In fact, it is not uncommon to see humidity levels at 90 percent each morning in cotton country. As mentioned above, too much moisture can be bad both for the plant and for the overall picking process.

Nighttime also sees high humidity levels, again as high as 90 percent. This leaves us with midday, when humidity levels can drop to somewhere between 30 and 40 percent. This is generally considered prime time for cotton pickers everywhere.

Buying the best

If you want to have the best possible yield without sacrificing efficiency, you need to be thinking about more than just timing. While taking steps to avoid high moisture and humidity levels is important, picking the right gear is just as crucial, and perhaps even more so. After all, quality equipment will inherently be more efficient and make for a better picking experience.

If you are looking for the best cotton pickers and cotton picker parts on the market, it is time for you to get in touch with Certi-Pik, USA. We look forward to helping you find the right equipment for your cotton business.