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New Technologies for Managing Cotton Modules

By John D. Wanjura, Ph.D.
USDA-ARS
Cotton Production and
Processing Research Unit
Lubbock, Texas
Phone:
806-746-5353 Ext. 109
Email:John.Wanjura@ARS.USDA.GOV


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Summary: New cotton harvesters with the ability to form seed cotton modules have changed the way that cotton is stored and handled before ginning. Cylindrical or “round” modules formed by John Deere cotton pickers and strippers are wrapped in three layers of plastic material to protect the cotton and maintain the cylindrical module shape during storage. The wrap material on each cylindrical module contains several radio frequency identification (RFID) tags that contain a module identification number unique to that module. The module serial number can be read from the RFID tag using electronic scanning tools and used to help growers and ginners manage modules and associated information gathered during the harvesting, storage, transportation, and ginning processes. However, to date, no commercial systems have been developed to facilitate the collection of module ID or position information using RFID technology. Therefore, the objective of this work is to develop a mobile application for use in collecting cotton module location and identification information using RFID and/or 1D/2D barcode technology. This system provides basic functionality to help ginners and producers identify ways to glean additional value from the new ability to manage modules using RFID technology.




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