Agriculture has come a long way since it was first developed thousands of years ago. However, many of the crops that have been popular throughout the history of agriculture continue to be staples in our modern economy. One of the crops that’s been in consistently high demand for hundreds of years is cotton, a fibrous crop that’s harvested for use in textiles, clothing and other consumer products. However, the equipment that we use to harvest this crop today is worlds away from original cotton harvesting methods. When you look back on the history of cotton picking and harvesting machinery, you can appreciate just how far this industry has come in the last several hundred years.
Before mechanical harvesting
Long before any mechanical device was created to harvest cotton, cotton was picked by hand. This process was incredibly labor and time intensive, and made it difficult for large cotton producers to keep up with demand in a timely and efficient manner. While there were many advances made in cotton processing technology, including the development of the cotton gin in 1793, cotton harvesting was not improved significantly until the early 20th century with the application of locomotive technology.
Cotton harvesting machinery
The first practical cotton picker was invented by John Daniel Rust during the late 1920s and early 1930s. The machine that Rust invented had smooth spindles that were wet with water to prevent cotton from being trapped in the mechanical components of the machine. This cotton harvesting machine could effectively separate cotton fibers from the rest of the plant and had the capacity to significantly boost production time and efficiency.
While Rust did establish a cotton picker manufacturing company along with his brother Mack Rust, the company suffered from the financial difficulties that many businesses experienced in the Depression-era United States. After the Great Depression, mechanical cotton picker development and production was delayed again, this time by World War II. The first successful commercial cotton picker was produced in 1944 and based on the design concepts of the Rust brothers.
In the early days of commercial cotton pickers, the machinery was only capable of harvesting a single row of cotton at a time. Today, cotton pickers can pick cotton from up to six rows at a time. Cotton harvester parts are made with innovative designs that are intended to maximize performance and yield. Modern cotton picking machinery can separate cotton fibers from the plant in a way that promotes incredibly efficient processing and distribution.
Find quality cotton harvester parts
At Certi-Pik, USA, we are proud to be part of an industry that has grown by leaps and bounds since it began. Since 1988, we have provided exceptional cotton picker parts for a wide variety of machinery. In addition to our existing selection of replacement parts, we’re also proud to fabricate customized parts based on your machinery and what you’re looking for. Reach out to us today to get started with your next parts order or to find out more about the services that we offer.