Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 8:30 AM

Handling and Storage of Cotton Seed in Tropical and Temperate Climates.

Norman Hopper, Agri Sci. & Nat. Res., Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409-2123, United States of America

With the new transgenic cultivars of cotton, seed cost now represents a major input expenditure.  As a result, seed companies and producers are both concerned about preserving the quality of the seed as it is harvested, moduled, ginned, delinted, treated, and stored.  Every precaution must be taken along this “journey” to preserve the quality of this expensive commodity.  This begins with harvesting the seed as soon as it is mature and dry, thus, preventing deterioration on the stalk.  In placing the cotton in a module, care should be taken to keep the cotton dry.  The ginning process should be monitored to minimize mechanical damage.  In addition, the delinting process should be controlled to minimize heat and acid damage to the seed.  Following the delinting and seed treatment processes, seed should be stored under good conditions.  This means that moisture and temperature need to be monitored and controlled to the extent possible.  Seed should certainly be kept in a clean and dry storage unit.  While relative humidity is difficult to control, the movement of seed to a drier climate for storage may be warranted.  A discussion of how these factors contribute to seed deterioration will be presented along with suggestions to minimize the impact.