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Modern Cotton Harvesting

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Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Team Making It Grow is working on a segment about the new technology of up-to-date cotton gins. Once a place where accidents were frequent, the new gins are run by computers with minimal human interaction except for constant supervision. We’re trying to film the cotton being harvested in the fields for this video, but the weather won’t cooperate. New cotton harvesting machines not only pick the cotton but also form modules and ejected then in the field. But the cotton has to be completely dry; in the round module it is compressed tightly and covered with plastic. If it were picked with a high moisture content, it would begin to heat up, just like a compost pile, and the quality of the fibers would decline. Even with all the advances in technology, farmers are still often at the mercy of the weather.

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.