Cotton Bale Definition and Production

A cotton bale is defined as being refined cotton, packaged at a particular size, manageable for use by modern production methods. That is to say, a cotton bale is cotton which has been put through a cotton gin (engine) to remove the cotton fiber from seeds or any dirt and grime which may have accumulated in the raw plant during growth and harvest. There are different cotton plants which produce different grades and qualities of refined cotton fiber.

The different types of cotton are used for different projects. Some variations are great for clothing, underwear, t-shirts, or nicer outerwear. Some are better than others in being used to press the seeds for cooking oils. Still others provide structural support for rubber products such as car tires. Regardless of its intended purpose, these bales conform to uniform standards which allow for transport and further manufacturing process needs.

Nominal versus Actual Weight

To provide a direct answer to a direct question, a bale by law weighs 480 lbs. For people using the metric system, that’s 218 kilograms. The 480 figure is nominal, in reality, bales of cotton average a weight of 495 pounds, or 225 kilograms. The extra weight allows for humidity and moisture which may have accumulated to dry out, and to assure the recipient of the product receives what they paid for. Cotton is typically grown in climates which are hot, humid, and generally wet during the growing season, and crops can vary annually based on rainfall during the dry months. Regardless of what might happen on the farm each year, the final product is going to be a bale ready for factory production usage, and it’s going to weigh 480 lbs., or maybe a little more in actual weight.

Cotton Bale Size by Volume

Volume is another consideration of cotton size. Bales are defined by law as being 55 inches long, 21 inches tall, and 33 inches wide. Cotton isn’t a factory-produced iron or plastic, such measurements can’t be guaranteed as absolute, but each bale is going to be within an inch of such measurements to assure efficient packaging and transport. The purpose of baling cotton is to compress it for storage and transport until later use.

Cotton Bale Size

The Worth of Cotton and Pricing

Cotton as an investment can be either risky or profitable, depending on one’s understanding of the market. Farmers seem to understand the market intuitively as if they know what the weather is going to be each season, and grow their crops accordingly. Pricing fluctuates each year according to supply and demand economics. Pricing it at around 80 cents per pound comes out at $384 per bale. That price has been much lower over the past few years, as low as 60 cents per pound, but is expected to jump up over the 2021 and 2022 growth seasons.

It’s a consumer-driven market. When the economy is tight and people aren’t spending, the price of cotton falls. In turn, production falls, until the need for these products exceeds the production levels. Then, the demand for cotton resumes and cotton sales skyrocket as prices go up and farmers strive to meet the demand. The cotton market may be driven by the rules of supply and demand, yet the size of a bale of cotton remains constant as an international standard which defines how much cotton is being purchased at the current rates.

John Deere Cotton Picker 690 FAQ’s

The John Deere CP690 is an extremely popular cotton picker available on the market today. Built, like all John Deere models, to be efficient, powerful, and durable, there are a few places that this model differs from the other equipment that John Deere offers. With that in mind, here are some of the most frequently asked questions around this model.

How Much HP Does the Engine Have on the CP690?

The CP690 uses a 13.5L John Deere Turbocharged Final Tier 4 engine provides 590 maximum horsepower, which is actually 560 standard horsepower with a 30 HP boost system for those times you need a little bit extra to get over rough terrain or come across other difficulties in the field. That amount of power is regulated by a Pro-Drive Automatic Transmission and front to rear traction stability. It harvests cotton at a standard speed of 5.3 mph, or can be switched to transportation mode and drive at 17 mph when moving between fields or back to the barn to drop off the harvest.

What Is the Capacity of the CP690’s Basket?

The CP690 is not a conventional basket style cotton picker. It, like its predecessor the 7760, bundles and wraps the cotton as it conducts the harvest, then drops each module in the field for later collection. As such, it doesn’t have a basket. This system requires each farmer to evaluate what works best for them to determine if this is the ideal machine to suit their needs. It has distinct advantages such as being lightweight, as the picking units have lighter components than older conventional and in-line units, and because of its design, it requires less additional harvesting equipment to process the cotton crop. This is an advantage over earlier machines that required separate module builders. Even with its advantages it still needs a separate machine to collect and potentially load the cotton bales. The system does fully wrap each round module to protect it while it remains in the field at the end of the row awaiting collection. The system is more efficient than traditional basket equipment in that you don’t need to compact the module separately from the picker, it simply might take a little different planning to harvest the cotton and prepare it for shipping.

What Is the Maximum Module Weight of the CP690?

The CP690 produces 4500 to 5500 pound cotton round modules, wrapped eight-foot-wide by 94 inches in diameter. This size bale meets the same specifications to be able to fit in standard module transporting trucks. Gin personnel are going to expect to be able to process the cotton they receive, and with a few modifications to the gin module feeder and machinery needed to break up the bales, from only processing the standard square modules in days past, they are equipped to process the cotton from raw form to a cleaned baled product which is what’s needed for making the end product the consumer will see.

Module Weight Of The Cp690

How Many Modules Can the CP690 Wrap?

The machine’s wrap magazine is able to hold enough wrap to wrap 120 round modules of cotton before reloading the rolls. Because it’s not a conventional basket style machine, the CP690 can bale cotton all day long, according to how much work is expected to be accomplished during a regular work shift. It’s going to bale more cotton than typically expected and produce much less waste, but even so, the cotton Modules which might be scattered around the field do have to be picked up later. Because of the way the CP690’s system works, the picker requires less support labor on the ground to help the machine operator, as the CP690 does the bulk of the work itself. It saves time with the process even with consideration of having to go back through to collect the modules, and it saves labor expense along without having the need to rely on additional people on the ground.

How Many Row Units Does the CP690 Have?

The six row units offer adjustable spacing for different farms and the different breeds grown in various regions which may need wide or narrow rows. Not only are the row units adjustable, but they’re also designed to be easily adjustable by a single person, and they allow for fine tuning to assure the most precise harvest with less waste than may be expected of traditional cotton-picking equipment.

Cp690 Cotton Modules

What Pro Units Are Available for Usage on the Cotton Picker 690?

The CP690 uses the John Deere roller and crank PRO series system which easily moves around the Pro 16 or Pro 12 Series Picking Units. The system is well known for both reliability and versatility, as it is a simple means of conducting the task being built of high-quality parts. The versatility comes from its simple hand crank, which is stored on the picking unit, and wide range of adjustability for different row sizes, whether a specific farm needs to set it once for planting crops in the same row width or if they need to adjust it for different breeds of cotton grown throughout a single season. The variety of cotton needed may change each year according to market demands.

How Large Is the Fuel Tank on the CP690?

In direct terms, the fuel tank holds 370 gallons or 1401 liters of diesel fuel. Additionally, the unit has a 16 gallon, or 61-liter, diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) tank used to mix with the regular fuel in order to reduce air pollution. What those figures mean in real time is there is generally enough fuel to last for an entire day of harvesting, reducing the downtime of having to refuel during the middle of the day or toward the end of a day’s work expectations. The picker was designed with the needs of farmers in mind and was built to maximize performance efficiency.

How Large Is the Water Tank for the Moistener System on the CP690?

The CP690 uses a Quick-Fill system which holds 360 gallons in the water tank to keep the equipment clean throughout the day. Just like the fuel system, the moistener system was designed for the needs of a commercial farmer who needs to spend working hours in the field rather than having to waste time conducting refills. Of course, picking is a messy job, the moistener system keeps the machine clean enough to keep running during the day, but it does need additional cleaning after the harvest is finished. It’s important to know your machine and field conditions to know if your machine needs cleaning more often, so keep a good eye on it.

Do You Need Replacement Parts for your John Deere CP690?

The John Deere CP690 is designed for industrial cotton farming, and like all other professional John Deere equipment, cotton harvesters were engineered with the input of experienced farmers to meet the stringent needs of daily field work. Although it is one of the well-known strongest brands of field equipment, even John Deere machines will require maintenance or repairs from time to time. In such cases, be sure to contact us at Certi-Pik, USA for quality aftermarket parts. By replacing parts with appropriate top-quality parts, you assure your equipment will be properly fixed and ready to continue performing for years to come. Each of our representatives understands the importance of your equipment, and will be happy to discuss your needs and help you make sure to order the right part and offer advice on the repair so you can get back to work as soon as possible with full confidence in your machinery.

John Deere Cotton Picker 7760 FAQ’s

John Deere is known as one of the most famous tractor companies who set the standard for farm equipment, both in terms of how the job gets done and quality of available machinery. They are most commonly known for providing industrial farm equipment, in addition to meeting a homeowner’s residential needs. The John Deere Cotton Picker model 7760 meets all the standards the company is known for. It’s a heavy piece of equipment designed specifically for the rigors of cotton farming.

There are a few common questions people ask, and rightfully so, to determine whether the machine is going to serve the needs of their farm:

How Much HP Does the Engine Have on the CP 7760?

The CP 7760 provides 560 horsepower with a 13.5-liter turbocharged engine. This amount of power is distributed through a four-speed transmission with either two-wheel or four-wheel drive configurations. Such a configuration has proven itself to be more than adequate for cotton farming use in most regular situations, and there are means of upgrading for extraordinary conditions.

What is the Capacity of the CP 7760’s Basket?

The basket is sized for production-based cotton farming and can handle around 2.8 tons of cotton. There are intermediate and full-sized baskets available, and extensions if needed to increase the volume of cotton the machine can transport. This is one of the most modern machines available and was designed with the needs of large-scale commercial farmers in mind while remaining dexterous and agile enough to remain useful on smaller farms which need maximum efficiency from their equipment.

What is the Maximum Module Weight of the CP 7760?

The average weight of a round module of cotton rolled off the harvester is 2.8 tons or 5600 lbs. The John Deere CP 7760 is overbuilt to easily handle the standard module weights or go over when needed. The machine actually has different modes in which it conducts the harvest, transport the crop, gate, and cradle the harvest, and finally wrap the load. The mode is set by the operator as they need to conduct each of the steps throughout the day.

How Many Round Modules Can the CP 7760 Wrap?

The unit is designed to pick and have enough wrap to wrap 120 round modules of cotton before re-stocking the magazine. Each module can be up to 90 inches in diameter by 96 inches wide which is about one fourth smaller in weight than a conventional module which measures 7.5 feet wide, 32 feet long, and around 11 feet high, but can be more desirable as it can maintain about half as much moisture, and can be much more cost effective to get to the gin.


How Many Row Units Does the CP 7760 Have?

The John Deere 7760 is designed to work with 6 rows of cotton. There are adjustments to account for different spacing between rows which can be from as little as 15 inches apart or up to 40 inches. Each row unit uses a 560-spindle system to pick the material while being constantly cleaned by the onboard moistener system.

What Pro Units are available for Usage on the Cotton Picker 7760?

The 7760 is compatible with either the PRO-16 or the PRO-12 VariRow System Picking Units. The final decision depends on the geographic location and therefore the breed of cotton intended to be grown and harvested. It’s always important to keep an open mind when purchasing new farm equipment, as technology has changed and what one person grew up with may not always be the best part for today’s equipment, so definitely discuss the situation with a dealer before determining which option to go with.

How Large is the Fuel Tank on the CP 7760?

The fuel tank holds 350 U.S. Gallons, or 1325 liters. The sheer amount of diesel it holds is relevant to mpg, which isn’t really a factor with this type of machine. To put it in usable terms, it’s consistent with what farmers expect based on other equipment and even similar pickers built by the competition. It’s impossible to predict local terrain conditions or how much fuel individual operators are going to use, other than you can plan on the fuel lasting as long or longer than you might expect based on experience with other machinery which conducts cotton harvesting.

How Large is the Water Tank for the Moistener System on the CP 7760?

The water tank for the moistener system holds 360 U.S. Gallons. Traditionally the tank used oil-based cleaner for the picker’s spindles, the modern standard has moved towards using a specifically designated soap with water. The 360-gallon tank is typically enough for a day’s worth of operation. The moistener system keep the machine running through the day, but just like other equipment used when harvesting cotton, the spindles are going to require a full cleaning each evening after the work is finished. A fully self-cleaning picker has yet to be invented, the fact is cotton harvesting equipment requires lots of lubrication and so can be messy to operate, so there’s no simple way around having to clean equipment after use.

Cp 7760 Water Tank

Contact Us at Certi-Pik, USA, for Quality Replacement Parts for You Cotton Harvesting Equipment

At Certi-Pik, we specialize in selling aftermarket parts for farm equipment, cotton harvester parts to be specific. You’ll find our representatives to be knowledgeable and experienced, prepared to meet your needs. If you already know what part you need, we’re here to get it ordered and shipped to you, if you aren’t sure, we can discuss your equipment’s failure and symptoms to help determine what the problem might be.

We’re available via direct phone call or through email at our website, whichever method you prefer. We understand how downtime affects both small and commercial farmers, especially during the planting and harvesting seasons, and therefore make it a point to provide service as quickly as possible on all orders. If your equipment is having trouble, we’ll do everything possible to get you back up and running, so you can continue to do the valuable job you provide to our country.

How Much Does a Bale of Cotton Cost?

How Much Does a Bale of Cotton Cost?

In general terms, cotton costs about 75 cents per pound, or $360 for a standard sized bale. Prices do fluctuate, so for “an exact price right this minute” you’ll need to check with a commodities broker. This isn’t a clickbait article, that’s a direct answer for students or anyone with a passing curiosity about the price of cotton. For farmers, investors, or anyone else interested in knowing such a thing, the rest of this article will explain how and why cotton is valued as it is.

Standard Sizing

In the United States, a “bale” is defined by volume rather than weight. A bale is 33 inches wide at its bulge, the ties holding the bale together are a bit smaller. The length is about 4-1/2 feet, 54 inches. On average, such volume is going to weigh about 500 pounds, it’s going to require machinery rather than physical labor to effectively move and transport bales as they go from the farm to the manufacturer and eventually to the store as a t-shirt, nice dress, or whatever other end product the cotton is used for.

That is, of course, American standards. There may be some exceptions for the material being exported. American measurements are considered the global standard, but some countries do have local nuances to sizing.

Quality Considerations

It’s important to remember not all cotton is the same quality. Different strains grow well in different climates, so material that is grown in the Caribbean is going to be different from what is grown in Florida, which in turn is different from what is grown in Georgia or South Carolina. It’s important to note how, greenhouses and indoor grow technology, cotton can be grown as far north as Maine, but such plants are typically going to be specialty breeds with a specific purpose rather than what comes from mass production farming.

Quality comes into play when considering the multitude of products made with cotton. Fabrics made with blends don’t require the same type as high end 100% cotton clothing, whereas certain fabrics used for curtains and rugs are made of different quality material. In addition to the standard clothing fabrics, most people associate with the material, it’s also used in bookbinding, certain types of paper, coffee filters, and even car tires. For every 100 pounds of fiber produced there is roughly 155 pounds of seeds, which produces oils that can be used in cooking and food products, or as an eco-friendly substitute for petroleum products.

Quality Considerations Of Cotton

Value and Purchasing

Another consideration about pricing is how the law of supply and demand comes into play with each year’s harvest. Demand may not change much, but growing conditions and weather can certainly change the amount of supply. Government actions such as farm subsidies can come into play, as can individual farm decisions concerning crop rotations and predictions as to which crops may be more profitable in any given season.

Cotton Harvesting Equipment

Modern cotton production on an industrial scale requires specialty equipment, as do producers on smaller farms which may grow cotton as a side crop. One of the best-known producers of cotton picker equipment replacement parts is Cert-Pik, USA with aftermarket equipment parts which will fit on John Deere and Case/ IH equipment. Our parts are top quality. You can rely on Certi-Pik parts to fulfill the demanding requirements you encounter during your farming operation. Being nestled in a farming community, we realize your need to be able to rely on your equipment and the need to get back to harvesting or maintaining your harvester.

5 Most Common Parts of a Cotton Picker That Need to be Replaced

Harvest is no time for your cotton picker machine to have a mechanical failure. You’ve got deadlines to meet, and obligations to pay with the income. Luckily, you know the very company to call for help. They help with all brands of cotton picker machines. Not only do they stock almost every component in the picking units, but they have a great turnaround lead time on part orders. You might just make this harvest on time after all.

How Does A Cotton Picking Machine Work?

The cotton plant enters the front of the machine and is compressed between the pressure plate, and the grid bars in the picking zone. When the plant is compressed and the spindles pass through the grid bars, the multiple spindles turning at high speeds snatch the material from inside the bolls. The spindles have sharp barbs which cause the material to attach to the spindles.

The material clings to the spindles until they reach the doffers which are spinning in the same direction as the spindles but are turning at a higher speed. This higher speed allows the material to be stripped of the spindle. After the material is removed from the spindle, the spindle is cleaned of unwanted sap or debris when passing under the moistener pads allowing it to once again rotate back through the plant for more picking. The material then passes through the air system’s ductwork via suction until it is blown into a huge basket, or module builder. After the material is removed from the harvester, it is then brought to a gin, where it is cleaned and compacted into a standard bale.

Why Do Cotton Picker Parts Fail?

Machines break if their service and maintenance aren’t kept up. Cotton pickers are no different. We at Certi-Pik USA are vitally aware that picker components need to be produced with the utmost precision. With so many components needing to fit together we control our quality in house, and so can assure you of accurately made components. Any other inexperienced machinist cutting components badly is one of the reasons picker components fail. Additionally, using components not designed for your machine or forcing the part to fit something it wasn’t designed for will also make the machine fail.

Regular service and maintenance keeps machinery working at peak capacity. Although many a farmer may have good knowledge in up-keeping their equipment, it is good to contact a Licensed and professional service personnel if need should arise. Someone who regularly maintains this equipment will clean, service, and maintain your machine in order to keep it at peak performance without any question if it is done correctly. Between servicing, cleaning (namely removing debris from around the doffers, and moistener pads) and lubricating your picker should be done regularly and with the proper lubrication and oils.

Why Do Cotton Picker Parts Fail

Which Parts Of A Cotton Picker Need To Be Replaced The Most Often?

  1. Spindles and spindle bushings aren’t the only components that need to be replaced frequently, because they are supported by other components:
  2. Spindles come in close contact with doffers, and moistener pads. Frayed, or worn down moistener pads and doffers are a sign they need replacing.
  3. Cam rollers that follow the cam track need to be maintained to ensure your equipment runs without excess vibration or unwanted interference of parts rotating at close tolerances.
  4. Cam Track. Underlying the picking unit system is the cam track which keeps the drums, spindles, moistener pads, and doffers going strong. The cam track maintains spindle angle and speed, while also making sure the spindles are cleaned while moving beneath the moistener pads. The cam track is vital to the operation of a picker. Getting fouled and/or worn down results in inefficient picking and even fires.
  5. Finally a potentially overlooked important area of your picker is the picking unit cabinet itself. In a harsh abrasive or corrosive environment worn parts due to moisture, and rust, or the inevitable plants or weeds that contact your cabinet can cause the sheet metal to bend, or wear through. An unwanted result of wear in the air suction area can cause an excessive air leak, resulting in a lack of suction, clogs, plugs, and even in worst cases a fire.

Other components to maintain or check periodically should include the various belts that turn the water pump, the engine fan, the A/C compressor, the alternator, and the fan rotor to name a few. Also be sure to keep an eye on the many different roller and needle bearings that keep everything rotating smoothly.

What Can Be Done To Prevent Parts From Failing?

Frequently inspecting and cleaning picker components is the first step to avoiding breakdowns and fires in cotton picking machines. If your picker is leaving too much material in the field, and if adjustments don’t make much difference in picker efficiency, then components need to be replaced.

Poor or no maintenance causes picker components to require replacement as well. Keep in mind that all of this can cause a fire which is bad news for your machine personnel as well as the machine and fields.

The Timing Of Maintenance And Service

Cotton picking machines are used once per year in most areas of the world. It’s important to at least visually check your picker’s components every season, and the doffing area might need to be cleaned every few hours when in use. The earlier you catch potential problems, the more efficient your machine will be next season.

The off season is the ideal time to inspect your machine and replace any components that are weak or worn. Keeping the picker’s components sharp and well maintained is critical to the machine’s operation. You don’t want to have your machine in the shop for service right before the harvest, or you could fall behind schedule.

Whatever the season, be sure to use good quality components from a reputable dealer. Using up to date pieces also ensures your machine will pick material efficiently for many years. Some dealers can also fabricate specific parts you need for your machine or custom make any part you need.

Obviously you can only inspect the parts you can see, so in any season keep your spindles sharp and their bushings running with correct clearances. Keep an eye on the tilt and height of your machine. This prevents leaving material in the fields.

Call upon us for your picker replacement parts and maintenance needs, and we’ll help you keep your machines running at peak performance in season and out.