Have you ever wondered how that cotton shirt you’re sporting went from a wild plant in the field to a finished product you can wear? Cotton production is a unique and intriguing process. It involves specialized knowledge and equipment such as cotton harvester parts.
To beef up your knowledge of this process, use the following seasonal schedule of cotton planting, growth and production. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact an expert in cotton harvester parts for answers.
In the spring, cotton seeds are planted. Farmers organize these plantings into long rows called furrows. After a few weeks, the plant begins to emerge from the soil. Growers must faithfully water the crops if rainfall is insufficient for growth. They must also remove weeds to ensure they do not choke the cotton plants, as well as check for bugs or other pest invasions and take steps to control for them. Fertilizer is also typically added at this time. By the end of spring, cotton flowers appear. Bees and other insects pollinate the flowers.
During the summer, cotton farmers must continue to water the crop and check it for pests. Throughout this season, the plant grows into a bushy shrub that is about three feet tall. Cotton bolls also appear, splitting to reveal seeds and the white fluffy cotton that will be used for cotton products.
Fall is the time for harvest. Growers pick the cotton and pack it into bales or modules. It is then sent to the cotton gin, where it is separated into seed and fluff. The fluffy lint is then packed into bales.
Once the cotton has been packed, it is sent to spinning mills. Farmers prepare their fields for the next season’s crop, and manufacturers start working on the fresh batch of cotton.
Once the cotton reaches textile mills, it is crafted into a variety of products we use every day. It is spun, dyed, knitted and woven into fabrics. Using these processes, manufacturers transform cotton into clothing, diapers, filters, beauty products, blankets and more.
In addition to these uses for the fluffy material of the plant, other byproducts of cotton can be applied for a variety of uses. In fact, most of what is harvested is useful in some way. For example, the oil from the cotton plant is used in products such as cereal and potato chips. The leftover meal is used as animal feed.
With so many uses, it’s easy to see why cotton is such a popular commodity and why the cotton industry remains a major player in the world economy.
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