Brief History of Cotton Pickers & Harvester Parts

Farming is a way of life for some, while others rely on farmers and their crops for necessities like food to eat and materials to manufacture goods. The farming industry is ever evolving, especially the machinery used and methods employed, making crop harvesting less labor-intensive for some farmers and quicker and more efficient for others. Therefore, machines are not only used for cultivating acres of land, but for harvesting as well.

One such harvest method that has evolved over the years is cotton picking. The manual harvesting of cotton as performed in years past was physically painstaking and labor-intensive, making modern cotton picking technology something to admire and appreciate. Let’s take a look at a brief history of cotton pickers and the advancement of cotton harvester parts.

Early harvesting technology (1930s and 1940s)

All cotton harvests prior to the 1930s were performed by hand, and the product hand-carried in containers. It wasn’t until the late 1930s that the first cotton harvester prototype, labeled a Harvesting Locomotive, was created by John Rust. It seemed like he had found a solution to cotton harvesting. Unfortunately, the prototype was expensive and broke down easily.

In the 1940s, Rust’s cotton harvesting locomotive was redesigned with major improvements. The new machine was revealed to feature cotton picker spindles and a part that would later turn into doffers. This innovative design reduced the amount of labor needed during harvest; however, it was quickly discovered that it also degraded the cotton. Further improvement was needed.

New ideas begin to emerge (1950s to 1980s)

The 1950s came around, and with them, another new and improved cotton picker. It now sported a reinforced steel frame and several rows of cotton picker spindles. This cotton picker had baskets specifically for catching and storing cotton, and not too long later, an operator’s cabin would be added along with further improvements.

John Deere came into the picture in the 1980s and transformed the cotton harvester into a fully functional piece of harvesting equipment. Mass production of John Deere’s improved models and parts enhancements commenced with quality and efficiency in mind. During this time, cotton picking production increased 85 to 95 percent.

Modern Day Cotton Pickers

John Deere is still the leading innovator in the cotton harvesting industry. From the introduction of the four-row cotton picker in the 1980s to the six-row picker in the 1990s, you can bet this opened the door for John Deere to make further improvements. In 2009, manual labor associated with picking cotton reduced dramatically thanks to innovative and high-quality harvester machine parts and components. This is why farmers should choose the right cotton harvesting machine for their needs to ensure many seasons of successful cotton crop picking.

For safety, harvesting efficiency and a good cotton harvest, it’s important to use the best equipment for the job. No matter the particular cotton harvester parts you need, it’s a sure bet that the team at Certi-Pik, USA either has it or can get it for you. Call us for more information or to hear about our parts inventory today!